first fic: http://www.angelfire.com/scifi/thegreendragon/sff/fanfic/magicmakers.html

Magic Makers 2

This is the second in my series of I/W fics, which take place following season 2 of Roswell and season 5 of BTVS. Although ordinarily Alex is present even in my post-CYN fics, I think I can allow myself a single exception to that rule. The first fic was Magic Makers. The third fic will probably be called MM3: Return to Roswell.

*~*~*

Isabel woke slowly, the sun shining in her eyes, a warm body pressed against hers. She disentangled herself from Willow’s arms, sitting up and looking around. The feeling of disorientation vanished as she realized she was still in her dorm room, just viewing it from the unfamiliar perspective of Willow’s bed. Where she’d fallen asleep holding the redhead after treating her bite wounds… Isabel studied Willow with concern, smiling when she decided Willow looked good and was breathing normally. Looked very good, Isabel realized, smiling as she recalled their kiss.

Willow reached out for Isabel in her sleep, missing the comfort found in her arms. Not finding anyone, she awoke, opening her eyes to see Isabel sitting on the edge of the bed smiling down at her. “Isabel?” she mumbled sleepily. Willow’s eyes began to widen in alarm. What if Isabel regretted their kiss, regretted the night spent sleeping in each other’s arms?

“Wake up sleepy-head. We missed our 9 am classes and we’ll be late for 10 am unless we rush now.” Today, Wednesday, was the busy day for both of them. “I need a quick shower, could you put the coffee on please?”

“Sure.” Willow didn’t want to think, it was too early… well, too soon after waking up, anyway. Besides everything was so confusing. At least Isabel seemed happy. To postpone thinking, Willow simply made the coffee and waited for Isabel to finish the first shower, trying not to think too much about the idea of Isabel in the shower.

Isabel dressed quickly, choosing a purple shirt and blue jeans, and stepped out of the shower. It felt weird to be that fast. It was handy, Willow was waiting… but she suddenly missed her long blonde hair. She knew why she missed it… because someone was interested in her, and she didn’t look her best. Isabel automatically accepted a cup of coffee, quickly taking a sip, then another one to cover her surprise. First of all, it tasted good… Willow had already added Tabasco, chili powder and sugar. Secondly, it was her own mug, and Isabel kept all her stuff on the upper shelves where Willow couldn’t reach, in order to leave the lower shelves for Willow.

“Something wrong?”

”No, everything’s great. Thanks for the coffee. You didn’t have to add the flavorings.”

“I wanted to.” Willow blushed slightly, tried to laugh it away. “Just don’t ask me to drink it.”

”Taste it before you knock it.”

The same thought seemed to occur to both of them simultaneously, as their gazes sought opposite corners of their dorm.

“You’d better get your shower,” Isabel said, realizing Willow was holding clean clothes.

“Right.” Willow stepped past Isabel, looked back to see Isabel still looking at her, and leaned forward hesitantly. Isabel leaned forward as well until their lips met, both of them drawing back as if they hadn’t expected that. Finally they both leaned in again, kissing lightly. “Spicy,” Willow whispered, then turned red and fled into the bathroom.

Isabel blushed as well. What was she thinking, to be kissing this girl only months after… after she’d thought she’d never kiss anyone again. I miss you so much, Alex. Would you mind me kissing this girl, who’s so much like you? Is it fair to her, if maybe I just see her as the closest thing to you?

When Willow emerged from the shower Isabel had already left for class. Willow sighed and followed. She and Isabel had a lot to talk about, and it didn’t even start with whether they could or should have a relationship. First, I have to tell her about vampires… she saw enough last night to believe me, and I can’t put her in unnecessary danger now that a warning might do some good. Then I have to ask how she saved me… and say thank you. A sudden thought occurred to her. Is Isabel the new Slayer?

*~*~*

That evening, Isabel out at her evening Classics class, Willow picked up the phone and dialed England.

“Willow! How are things back in Sunnydale?”

“Great! Xander and Anya are doing well, school is good. How’s England?”

“Lots of rain, as might be expected… Dawn is doing better lately.”

“Good, is she there?”

“She finally went out with some friends, including a young man to whom I gather she has taken a fancy.”

“I wish her luck… Rupert, there’s a reason I called before the weekend.”

“Oh? Is something wrong?”

“No, nothing’s wrong.” Willow decided against mentioning her suspicions about Isabel. She’d look silly if she were wrong, and anyway Isabel would probably be better off without someone from the Watcher’s Council interfering with her life… unless Giles could be coaxed out of retirement, but that seemed extremely unlikely. “I was just wondering if you’d heard anything about who the new Slayer is yet? There’s been a little minor vampire activity here” she was hardly going to worry Giles by telling him what a close shave she’d had, when there was nothing he could do “so I was hoping she’d have turned up somewhere.”

“The Council doesn’t know the exact person yet, but all their auguries point to the US again, New Mexico actually. Probably a girl from the vicinity of Roswell.” Giles chuckled. “The town makes one think of Aliens, not vampires and the supernatural.”

“Thanks. It’s good they’re getting close… do you know who they’ll be sending as her Watcher? I know one person with relevant experience.”

“Thanks Willow, but I’m retired now… and I have my hands full taking care of Dawn. Do you remember Wesley?”

Willow groaned. “Yeah.”

“Don’t be so harsh on him, he’s shaping up quite nicely. I’ve been working with him, but I’ll be glad to have him on the other side of the Atlantic. Now, you were saying something about vampire activity?”

“Nothing much so far, just a few vampires, I wasn’t able to get them all. I’ll take Xander and Anya and do more patrolling for the next few days.”

“Good idea, and be careful Willow. Take care.”

“You too.”

*~*~*

Liz came to a reluctant stop in the high school hallway when Max grabbed her arm. “Max, I’ve got to get back to class.”

“This will only take a second… I need to know where Isabel is.”

“This is her decision. She e-mailed you, right?”

“Yeah, using a web-based account. Look Liz, you have to reconsider. Mom and dad won’t tell me, because they don’t know the stakes. You do.”

“Your parents don’t know… well, guess you won at least one argument didn’t you Max?”

“I’m the King, Liz, I can’t protect my sister if I can’t find her, and what if I need her help?”

“You can’t protect anyone either way Max. We found that out the hard way.” Liz pulled away. “Isabel won’t respond to the King. Try being her brother, I know Isabel misses that, as much as I miss my old lab partner. The guy who saved my life. The guy I fell in love with. What happened to that Max? Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to class and deal with Maria, who thinks she’s changing.”

”That isn’t possible,” Max objected, ignoring most of what Liz had said. “She wasn’t healed like you and Kyle were.”

”Yeah, I know… she’s been spending too much time listening to Kyle. Goodbye, Max.”

“Bye Liz.”

*~*~*

“Maria?” Michael called out. “Your mom let me in… you wanted to talk?” He looked around again. She didn’t seem to be anywhere in her room. Suddenly a wait crashed into his back, knocking him down onto Maria’s bed. Michael squirmed as he was tickled unmercifully, finally succeeding in rolling away. “Where did you come from?”

Maria glanced up at the ledge on top of her door. “There.”

”What are you, spider-woman?”

“That’s what I need to talk to you about, actually. Something is happening to me, Michael. I’m having all these weird dreams, and suddenly I’m really strong. I didn’t get healed, so it must be you.”

“Me?”

”The night we made love. So far it’s all good, except the dreams, but what else is going to happen to me Michael?”

Michael glanced at the doorway. “Shh! Your mother will kill me!”

“Michael, what’s going on?”

Michael thought about asking just how he might know, thought of pointing out that Liz and Kyle were fine, but then realized how scared she was. He went over and took Maria in his arms. “We’ll figure it out.”

*~*~*

It wasn’t until the next day, after both of them were through with classes, that Isabel finally made Willow sit down and talk to her. “All your night time walks… carrying those stakes… you know what’s going on.”

“Vampires.”

”That makes sense. I mean, it makes no sense at all, but I saw the bite marks.”

“Thanks, by the way. For saving my life and everything.”

“Of course. I had to when I saw you in danger.”

“A lot of people would have run away… and you didn’t have to come looking for me. It means a lot to me.” Willow looked away.

“Oh Willow, I wish you wouldn’t be so nervous… it reminds me of… just don’t be nervous.”

“I’ll try not to be. Anyway, you know now… I would have warned you as soon as you moved to Sunnydale, but you wouldn’t have believed me. Vampires are all over the place, this is a hellmouth. All sorts of different demons and stuff too. My friend, Buffy, she was the Slayer… the Chosen One to fight all those things.”

“What happened?”

“She sacrificed herself to save her little sister.” The whole Key thing was too complicated to go through. Besides it seemed disrespectful to Dawn to talk about that, as if she were an object.

“I’m sorry about your friend.” Girlfriend? Isabel wondered.

”Thanks.” Willow swallowed. “Anyway, until a new Slayer shows up…” she paused to let Isabel say something if she wanted to… “it’s up to me, Xander and Anya to patrol. Fortunately everything has been relatively quiet.”

“Good.” Isabel waited until it became clear Willow wasn’t going to say anything else. “We also need to talk about us. I don’t know if we can just go back to being friends and room mates.”

”Do you want to?”

Isabel shook her head. “I don’t want to… I’m just not sure if I’m ready to date again. And I’ve never dated a girl before.”

“It isn’t that different.” Oz and Tara had been quite different, except for both being wonderful, but their differences hadn’t been about their genders, and they hadn’t all been about one being werewolf and the other a witch either. “I’d really like to… to see where this might lead.”

Isabel nodded. “I liked kissing.” Willow leaned forward, and Isabel kissed her softly. “I definitely like that… I’m just not sure I should, now.”

”I can wait.” Willow wasn’t sure why Isabel teared up when she said that. “Are you sure you’ve never kissed a girl before? You’re very good at it.”

Isabel shook her head. “Once maybe… I don’t want to talk about her.” She felt slightly guilty, Willow had spilled her secrets, at least some of them… but Isabel’s secrets were possibly even more dangerous. She didn’t want to talk about Tess at all, and what might or might not have happened during those confusing days when she’d unwillingly dreamt of Michael, and befriended Tess, who’d seemed merely the new girl at school.

“Sorry.” Willow stood up. “We should talk more tomorrow, I have to get going. I’m supposed to meet Xander and Anya at the cemetery, we need to track down the vampires who got away.” And, perhaps, discuss how to tell whether Isabel were the new Slayer.

“You’re going back out there?”

Willow was surprised at how angry Isabel sounded. “Yeah, I told you it’s what we do.”

”Without me? You nearly died last time!”

”Isabel, I’ve been doing this for years… what’s wrong?”

Her question penetrated, and Isabel calmed down. “I didn’t save him. If I’d only payed more attention… I could have saved him. He was so much like you. Smart, and cute, and so sweet.”

“You can’t blame yourself.”

”I can’t not,” Isabel said simply. “It was my fault. I won’t make the same mistake again.” She held out her hand. “Do you have a spare stake?”

*~*~*

Xander stopped kissing Anya as he saw someone approaching… two some-ones. “Vamps incoming.”

“It looks like Willow.”

“She didn’t mention bringing anyone, who could she bring with her anyway?”

Anya shrugged, but as the figures drew closer was proven right. “We were waiting for you. Now the slaying can begin. Not that we didn’t put the time waiting to good use.”

“Anya!” Xander protested, then turned to Willow. “Will, can I talk to you a second?” His eyes turned to Isabel.

“It’s all right. You guys remember my room mate, Isabel?”

“Yes,” Anya agreed. “We met at the Bronze the one time.”

“She saved my life last night. I ran into a few vampires, wasn’t nearly as successful with magic and the staking as I had to be. Fortunately she missed me and came looking.” Willow smiled gratefully up at Isabel, missing the glances Xander and Anya exchanged.

“I hear the three of you have been keeping Sunnydale safe for everyone, I’d like to help.”

“You’ve got to be more careful, Willow,” Xander cautioned, then smiled at Isabel. “If vampire activity is picking up again, we can use all the help we can get.”

“Great. So how do we go about this?

*~*~*

“What did you think?” Willow asked as she opened their apartment.

Isabel had been watching closely. She hadn’t seen Willow produce a key. The evidence was accumulating. But it was too soon to say anything. “It was fun. To be out with friends… fighting evil…” Just like old times.

“It’s good you came. We’re a little short-handed these days, and it seems like supernatural activity is starting to pick up again.”

“I’d like to come with you every time.”

“I’d like that to.” Willow and Isabel smiled at each other.

Isabel moved to the microwave. “Want some hot chocolate before bed?”

*~*~*

Isabel couldn’t believe how well things were going. Patrolling was fun, and she liked spending time with Willow – and also with Xander and Anya. School went well as well, if Isabel was occasionally short on sleep that was hardly unusual for university students.

University was something she’d looked forward to, but never quite expected to really happen. Surely her biological parents or someone would come for her… take her away to some strange planet she might learn to call home. Even if that never happened, Isabel had at times doubted she’d live long enough to graduate from high school, between the FBI and the Skins. Max had almost had his way, but Isabel had been determined.

Now she sat in class, paying a lot of attention. Introduction to Political Science. Nothing, really, that she hadn’t already known. But it made her think. Monarchy? She was supposed to be some kind of princess? Her brother was the King? If the monarchies on Earth were any indication she didn’t want to try life on Antar.

“Hey, you seem into this stuff,” a guy who usually sat near her but seldom said more than hi commented, as the class dispersed.

“Yeah.” Isabel shrugged. “Prof did say all this stuff is relevant to our lives, didn’t he?” If he only knew…

“Yeah, but most people are bored anyway… hey, you want to get lunch?”

“Thanks, but I’ve got plans. See you Friday.”

His face fell slightly, but he nodded. “Friday.”

Isabel turned. “Will!”

“Hey.” Willow smiled shyly. “You ready? I’ve got a lab at 2 I’ve got to be back for. Unless it’s really important that I miss it in which case I would of course.”

“We’re just eating lunch.” Isabel smiled. Babbling… in far too many ways Willow reminded her of Alex.

*~*~*

[Isabel and Willow eat lunch out… decide to just see where things lead, rather than making a decision just then on whether or not to date]

Willow finally realized she had to take the initiative. “We need to discuss a few things.”

“More A – Vampire stuff?”

“Us stuff.”

“Yeah.” Isabel nodded. “I’ve never been good at talking about that kind of thing.”

“He knew.”

Isabel blinked. “Pardon me?”

“Alex… from what you’ve told me, I feel almost as if I know the guy. He knew you love him. I’m sure of it.”

“Thank you.” Isabel wiped her eyes. “I shouldn’t still be crying.”

“It’s all right.” Willow was a little jealous of Isabel’s past boyfriend, as far as she could tell the only person Isabel had ever dated, but mostly she felt sad for him and Isabel.

“You wanted to talk. Last night we said we would. I think we should.”

“I know what I want. I’m just not sure I’m ready. Oz… he tried to kill me while he was a werewolf. Then Tara left me. I don’t blame her after what happened to her in Sunnydale, I don’t blame either one of them… but it still hurts.”

“I’m not ready either,” Isabel confessed. Alex had died of extra-terrestrial causes. So had Grant. “But…” Isabel swallowed. “Last time I waited too long. And if I’d taken advantage of that time, we could have had, I might not have lost him at all. I’m afraid to delay, to put off what I think I want, because I might be repeating the same mistakes I made before. But I’m still afraid to rush into something, that could hurt us both if it doesn’t work out like we expect.”

“I understand,” Willow replied gently, reaching out to squeeze Isabel’s hand reassuringly. “How about we don’t decide to wait and see, but don’t get together all of a sudden either? Lets just see what develops. We’re friends and room-mates… it’s okay if nothing else happens. But it’s great if we become more.”

Isabel nodded slowly. Willow’s non-solution seemed the best they could do. “Lets do that.”

Both girls were happy with avoiding that decision. It let them focus on the things they did together. They still watched TV together on the couch, touching casually.

Isabel still hid her powers. Xander and Anya noticed her successes when they encountered vampires on patrol. The casual acceptance of the good they did dispatching these creatures helped Isabel deal with the memory of Whitaker.

Willow remained reticent about her magic. Isabel was afraid of seeing Willow as another Alex; if Isabel started learning witchcraft, Willow was afraid of seeing her as another Tara, a beautiful blonde spellcaster.

*~*~*

Gradually, Willow became aware something was bothering Isabel. Her friend was growing more tense and worried. Willow let it slide for a time, waiting to see if Isabel would tell her about it. When it became clear that she wouldn’t, and that Isabel was getting more nervous, more irritable whenever they did anything and dangerously distracted on patrol, Willow decided she needed to force the issue.

She chose a time when they were sitting in front of the TV, their program just ended. She lifted her head from Isabel’s shoulder. “What’s been bothering you?”

“Is it that… I mean, nothing.”

“You’ve been acting weird for over a week. If it’s none of my business okay, but I’d like to help.” Isabel was quiet. “Is it school? You’ll do fine, you would even without me to help. Or is it that guy from your drama class, the one with the crush?”

“Nah. School is fine. And he’s a nice guy, just not my type. No problem there.”

“Okay.”

Isabel thought for a bit. “Mom really wants me to come home for Thanksgiving. She even sent me a plane ticket.”

“Well, that’s good right?” Isabel talked a lot about her family, had said how much she missed them.

“I miss mom and dad, even my brother… I’ve never been away from home this long before. And there are friends I’d like to see again, too. But I had a fight with my brother before I left. We haven’t spoken since, and when I e-mailed him he e-mailed me back, a really angry letter. Demanding I come back home immediately.”

“Oh my.” Willow had had no idea. She reached out and held Isabel’s hand.

“I don’t know what to do.”

“Is he dangerous?”

“Max? Of course not!”

“Then go home, see your parents… nobody should keep you from going home.” Willow sighed. She’d miss Isabel, it would be a lonely Thanksgiving.

“I really want to see my parents.”

“Go home.”

“You’re right, I will. Thank you, Willow.” She decided to change the subject. “So, what are you doing? Your family is here in Sunnydale right?” Willow never talked much about her family.

“I suppose… actually I’ll probably eat Thanksgiving dinner with Xander and Anya.”

“Oh.” Isabel hesitated. If Willow didn’t have family to be with… Isabel’s parents would welcome her. Besides, selfishly, Isabel wanted her support. “You could come to Roswell with me.”

“Really? I’d love to, but if it’s a family thing I don’t want to intrude.”

Isabel saw the smile on Willow’s face. “Mom and dad would love to meet my room mate.”

“Well…” Willow grinned. “I don’t know if they’d be so happy if they knew I’m gay.”

“Well they only ever liked one of my boyfriends. Anyway, we’ll see if they like you before we even think of telling them. But I want them to meet you. And you should meet my friends. You and Liz will get along great, you’ll like Maria… even Michael and Kyle have their moments. Want to come with me?”

“Anywhere…” Willow blushed and coughed. “I mean, I’d love to.”