But maybe Tara was right. Maybe this was what we needed. I agreed and went upstairs to pack. As I did so, I couldn't help but be caught up in my own thoughts. I could still feel Spike and his nonfeeling hands all over me and it wasn't a good feeling at all. It was incredibly icky. And horrible and it was leaving my emotions all over the place. Hence the whole blackeyed tree smoking incident.
Sure Tara keeps me safe. She always has. That's not what bothers me. I'm worried that I'll never get back to where I was, and I'll just be stuck in this really horrible place forever. It's kind of my own hellmouth and it's just not closing and I don't know how to make it close.
So these were the thoughts I've been having as I began to pack. I felt if I could've just been more Super Willow then I could've stopped Spike. But I couldn't even do that. I had to wait for help.
Maybe I'm just acting silly. It wouldn't be the first time.
I decided I couldn't stay like this. Stay in this hole. At least I had to try. I came downstairs and Tara had talked to Buffy.
"I'm all ready to get all naturey," I smiled at Tara softly, plopping a few duffel bags on the living room floor.
Tara gave me a small smile. "I spoke to Buffy. Would you mind if Dawn came?"
I shook my head. "Dawnie? But won't she start to question a lot, and.." I stopped myself. It was Dawnie. "Of course she can come." I picked up Miss Kitty from the floor and I heard a soft meow echo from her mouth. "Xand can watch Miss Kitty while we're gone." She paws at me.
"Are you sure?" She asked me again.
I opened the front door of our apartment. "Of course baby."
Tara followed right behind me. She took my hand and helped me with the bags. We put them in the trunk of our car and then I slid into the driver's seat and buckled up. I had made this drive to Buffy's house so many times and yet today it felt kind of foreign. I felt weird. I felt not myself.
Tara put her hand on my knee while I was turning. She knew it wasn't better, but maybe it would be after all of this. That's who she is, always reassuring me, even when I don't really wish to hear it. We got to Buffy's a shortwhile after that. Buffy greeted me with her usual smile as she opened the door leaning against its frame. "Hey Will," she turned to look at Tara. "Hi Tara. Dawn's incredibly excited. She'll be coming down any second."
I noticed Buffy looking at me a bit longer. I wonder if she knew without me telling her. You know that whole Slayer sense thing. She gave me one of those mental looks of I hope you're ok. Dawn came down a short while later bounding down the stairs and standing in between the door and Buffy. "Ok I'm totally ready to go!" She gave Buffy a quick hug. "Bye Dawnie, be good. Have fun guys," She gave a gentle wave and Dawn went running over to the car.
"She's excitable isn't she," I leaned against Tara.
"Always," Tara grinned at me.
So we started the drive to the woods. We were heading to a place just outside of Sunnydale. Giles had told me about this place once before, it was where they had a few of the Watcher retreats.
I noticed Dawn leaning forward on the seat from the rear view mirror. "So not that I'm not completely excited about camping cause it means I can get out of Buffy's hair for a little bit, but what's the sudden rush to go camping?"
I felt a lump in my throat. Tara's hand never left my knee and she turned around to face Dawn. "We just thought it'd be nice to get out of Sunnydale for a little while."
That seemed to satisfy Dawn for the moment. I knew she'd be questioning something else soon. And sure enough as soon as I stopped at a light I heard, "Are you guys gonna make out at the stop lights? Cause don't think I don't notice when that's happened before."
I felt myself turn every shade of red. "Uhhh Dawnie, don't you have a book to read?"
"Nope, I'm book free."
Tara had a smirk plastered across her lips. "Dawn, I think what Willow's trying to say is that it's really not our place to talk about that."
I felt a sigh of relief run through me.
"But I'm totally cool with it," Dawn retorted.
"I know you are sweetie, but no show today," Tara laughed softly.
I felt myself clutch the steering wheel tighter. Oh boy this was going to be one interesting camping trip, I thought.
We finally hit a stretch of dirt road and I knew we were getting close so I pulled over to the side when we hit the patch of trees that I thought was it. Dawn hopped out of the car still grinning. "Wow guys this is so neat! I'm going to run up ahead and find the campground. See you guys there!" And with that she took off.
"Dawn, wait!" I called out but no luck. Dawn was already far ahead. "Hon," Tara came up from behind me. "She'll be alright. Are you ok?"
I grabbed the bags from the trunk. "I'm fine. Really. Just wish we packed lighter."
We made our way to the campground and Dawn had already started to take her own bag and started to attempt to pitch the tent. She was having a little difficulty with the poles and the ropes. I could tell she was frustrated. Tara went to help her and wasn't having much luck.
It was strange really. I felt a presence in the woods. Not like birds and insects and creepy crawlie things but just more of a relaxation. I don't know if I believe in enchanted forests but I guess there's something to be said about witches and nature. I could feel a lot of power going through me. Completely rootsy. I decided to make good use of it.
I focused on one pole and slowly lifted it off the ground. Dawn and Tara stopped what they were doing and Dawn just shot her eyes wide at me. "Whoa," and I heard her call out to Tara. "Is this a good idea?"
I began to put the pieces of the tent together. Tara blinked. "I think so hon."
The tent was done and I just kind of collapsed. Tara rushed over to me. "Willow!" She cradled me in her arms. "Sweetie are you ok?"
I nodded. "I'm ok. Kind of nifty huh?"
Tara moved the hair out of my face and kissed me softly. She's been so protective of me.
Dawn had asked me if I would show her some of the stars that evening. I felt a warmth flow through me remembering about the time Tara spent with me talking about the giant pineapple. We made a small campfire, roasted marshmallows and just when I was about to finally tell Dawn about Casseopeia she had drifted off to sleep. So it was just Tara and I in our sleeping bags.
"Going to show me the man with the crackers?" I grinned at her.
"Maybe," Tara leaned snuggled against me. "It depends though."
I arched a brow. "On what?"
"If this star gazing includes just staring at you?"
I blushed. "Tara," and I gave her a quick kiss. "That can be arranged. This place is so magical Tara. I can feel it baby. It's like everything has this kind of flow. An energy."
"So it's helping?" She asked.
"Think so. I just, sometimes I think I'm getting somewhere and then I'm right back to where I'm started and I feel like I'm just running in place. I'm frustrated and then I just want to forget and I can't and what if I just can never have myself back on the ground. I feel like I'm floating but not in a good way."
Tara interrupted me. "Uh, Willow?" She pointed down. We were a few feet off the ground. "I think this may have something to do with it."
"Oh." I don't know how we got in the air. I guess it must've been my thoughts. I lowered us down.
Tara stroked my hair. "Sweetie you need to just relax."
"I am, I'm trying." I sat up in the sleeping bag. "I can't do this Tara, it's too much."
Tara looked at me strangely. "Willow, you are doing fine. Just breathe."
"No you don't understand, I'm just going to mess up. I mean look I couldn't even control the fact we were floating in the air and what if I hurt Dawnie and you and.."
She tried to pull me in but I wouldn't hear it. I popped out of the sleeping bag. "I need to go on a walk."
"Willow! You can't keep doing this," Tara grabbed my arm. "You can't just keep walking away."
I turned around quickly. "Why not? It's the easiest thing for me to do."
I saw Dawn pop her eyes open. I woke her up but she put the sleeping bag over her head.
Tara wouldn't let me go. "It may be but you can't keep pushing the people you love the most away. I'm here for you Willow. I don't understand why you can't see that."
I shot my eyes wide at her. I felt my fingers curl around. "I do see it but you don't see how dangerous I am!"
I walked off after that and just bailed.