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BTVS: Awe-Shaped and Eager (Willow)

snowpuppies organized genfic_minis: the Willow round. I was assigned angearia, who requested Veronica Mars, embarassment, and a twist.

Title: Awe-Shaped and Eager
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character: Willow Rosenberg
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: If you don't know the language, you must let your heart do all the talking.
Notes: Post-series, with some discussion of the second season of Veronica Mars.

Willow lived in Prague for two years before she felt like something less than a stranger. Every day, she opened wide the window of her apartment's bedroom and breathed in the air, wet and stony and clear. It smelled nothing like home, but she loved it anyway. She woke up just after the sun rose, and watched the waitstaff of the restaurant below her flip chairs around rickety tables, chiding each other in words she still hadn't picked up.

The showerhead in her apartment sputtered. As she scrubbed shampoo from her hair, she reviewed the many phrases she might need that day, knowing she'd get at least a third of them wrong.

The cafe was bustling by the time she made her way downstairs. There were tourists sitting under the main canopy, but Willow recognized the rest, neighbors on the way to work, a couple of people just finishing work, and a couple of college students, using cappuccino as salve for their hangovers. Willow nodded to them, murmured, "Dobrý den." They were her age, maybe a couple of years younger, but she felt inestimably older, and remote.

She settled at a table near the kitchen entrance, and one of the servers saw her, wandered over with a grin on her face. "Dobrý den," Willow said again, but when she tried ordering breakfast, the server giggled, and Willow felt heat swell up her neck, across her face. "Breakfast?" she tried in English. "Cappuccino," which she knew was universally understood.

The server winked at her, and Willow leaned back, breathed out. She ran through all the food words she knew, and when the server brought her drink and a plate of cold cuts, cheese, and bread, Willow managed to ask for eggs in something that approached passable Czech.


Breakfast wound through the morning, and Willow alternated between her phrasebook and a sheaf of spells, transliterated from Akkadian. When she noticed the waitstaff preparing for lunch, she left a few koruna on the table, waving to the server so she'd pick up her tip before the next customer arrived.

It had been a while since she'd done the tourist thing, so Willow meandered out to Old Town, mingling with the crowd gathered in front of the Orloj, chatting with a couple from Vermont while they tried to figure out how it told time.

She bought a postcard from one of the many overpriced shops in the square, scrawled a note before realizing she wanted to send it to Giles, and tucked it into her phrasebook for later mailing.

She was back at her apartment before four, and she booted up her laptop. She was halfway through the second season of Veronica Mars, and she had mixed feelings about everybody except Mac. When her cell phone rang, she flipped it open without checking the ID. "There totally weren't any Irish mobs in Sunnydale," she announced.

"Random much?" Buffy replied. "What if this was, like, the embassy or something?"

"They'd never remember this conversation," Willow said.

Buffy laughed. "Way to be creepy, Willow."

"Who do you think caused the bus crash?" Willow asked.

"Kendall, duh," Buffy said. "She's totally playing them."

Willow blinked. "You're behind our schedule, aren't you?"

"Only crazy people schedule DVD watching."

"Or organized people," Willow retorted. "Or people who don't have cable."

Three knocks on the door, and Willow paused the DVD. "Coming!" she called out.

"You're having a party without me, aren't you?" Buffy accused.

Willow pulled a sweatshirt over her tank top, awkwardly juggling her cell phone. "It's probably my downstairs neighbor," she said, shuffling to the door. "She runs out of salt a lot." Buffy snorted, and Willow opened the door.

She froze for a moment, then managed, "Buffy, I'll call you back," before hanging up.

"Dobrý den," Oz said. His hair was green, and he tucked his hands in his pockets. "Did I say that right?"

Willow gulped, and nodded. "What are you doing here?"

"Well." He shrugged, and it was so familiar it hurt. "I thought I'd come to you."

The sun would set soon, and she rested her hand against the doorframe, breathing a sigh even as Oz said, "It's not a full moon." Willow moved back, feeling awkward, feeling happy. Oz stepped across the threshold and looked around.

"So this is your apartment."

"Yeah," Willow said. She shut the door, and Oz settled on her sofa, cross-legged. "This is home."


A/N: Title and summary adapted from Cin Salach's Velvet. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
Ooo...cliff hanger. I like it this way though, pick your own ending.
Mar. 7th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
Awwww. I love that Buffy and Willow are watching Veronica Mars together even though they live far apart. I've totally done that with my best friends! And the ending is sweet and intriguing, leaving a wealth of possibilities.

I especially loved the way you built in the sense of the familiar with the foreign--well done! And thank you so very much.
Mar. 7th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC)

Ahem. Always glad to see him show up, in any context.

Anyway, this was a lovely, quiet look at living alone in a foreign country, with only a smattering of the language and mostly long-distance friendships. Very nice. :)
Mar. 7th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
This is lovely! It has such a nice feel to it, and I love the idea of her and Buffy scheduling television viewing, it's a great way to give them a connection even over so much distance.
Mar. 7th, 2010 01:23 pm (UTC)
Aww, Prague; aww, Veronica Mars; aww, Buffy & Willow friendship!

I love (beside Willow living in my city) how Buffy suspects Kendall, Charisma's character. Hee.
Mar. 7th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
Lovely! I don't know Veronica Mars but it didn't matter - the sense of friends bonding over the miles was utterly charming.

Bonus points for including Oz as an ingenious twist. Always welcome! :D
Mar. 7th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
nice work :)

I wish she'd said how Kendall looks like Cordy lol
Mar. 7th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
Nice! Loved the atmosphere you painted, here - I could really feel Willow's not-quite-fitting-in-ness, here, that feeling of almost-but-not-quite-home so wonderfully portrayed. Also loved the scheduling of DVD watching - so how Buffy and Willow would keep their friendship long distance.

And what a twist! :P

Thanks for sharing, hon - very enjoyable. :)
Mar. 7th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
Oz! There isn't enough Oz-fic. He and Willow were my first OTP!

I like this story; nice little slice of life. I especially love Willow watching Veronica Mars long distance with Buffy; that rings true for some reason. They both were probably too busy to watch it when it aired.

Hee! at the Kendall comment. But what about Logan's sister? AKA AH's character? I'm curious!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 9th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
I liked this very much!

Mar. 13th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. I liked the casual detail that Oz's hair is green.
Mar. 15th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
I love these little future Willow gen pieces. The Willow voice is great.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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