by Twinkledru J.

Arwen is happy here; the land is still a shade of green, and she has friends, though they be human.

She has had many friends through the years, and she will have many more, but she has learned to accept this. They have something before that she has not, and yet she, too, knows a kind of peace.

Her friends are in the coven, mostly, and sometimes there are others, but mostly she is content with things as they are.

The grass grows green, though it is not as soft as it once was, as Arwen's soul remembers it being. She treads it anyway, for it is grass, and it is green, and the things her soul remembers are past and gone.


Willow would like to learn to use a sword.

She's used them, from time to time, in battles with Buffy, but in moments when she's panicking like that, she can't even be bothered to remember what she's seen in movies. It's mainly just "wave the sharp heavy thing and hope for the best". Plus, she never really cared much to learn.

But now, she's got time, and Giles thinks it'd be good for her to learn something new while she's here. Something about rebirth and new beginnings and how if she wishes to use weapons, she must learn to wield a true weapon, for then she will truly respect them.

He wasn't too thrilled about giving her a sword from the very beginning; he wouldn't even let her have a fake wooden sword. Just sticks about the right length and height and weight. That was only her twelfth day here, though, and since the first time she'd spoken more than two words at once to him was to say "I wanna learn to swordfight", it was understandable. Since, you know, she'd just tried to destroy the world.

The coven talked of a woman in hushed tones -- or maybe they didn't talk of her.

No, now that she thought about it. But there was a woman they all knew of, and Willow had seen her in their minds, little flashes at the edges of their minds.

She was -- moonlight, and water, and time older than time immemorial, and that was all that Willow knew.

Giles gave her a sword on the nineteenth day, a real sword, and she could feel the years on it, though it was nothing magick. That was probably for the best, too. It was old, though, and she liked that. She asked about its history, and he'd said he wasn't sure, although by the design, it probably dated back to the late eighteenth century, maybe early nineteenth, and it looked French, so maybe a spoil of the Napoleonic wars, and she was almost sorry that she'd asked, except that she really wasn't.

The coven taught her patiently and quietly in the early mornings, and she'd talk and read and bond and talk some more with Giles in the afternoons. Sleep was in the evenings and the late mornings.

During the nights, she spent hours in a forest clearing miles from the house. There was more moonlight some nights than others, and sometimes the moon was hidden completely by clouds or simply gone entirely. On those nights she conjured her own light so that the very air around her had just the faintest blue glow.

She began to dream, of Tara and the other woman, the one who hovered at the edges of the covenfolk's minds, and their eyes would blend together, and Tara would whisper things to her in a language she didn't understand.

Willow would wake in the mornings with a name on her lips, Tinuviel, and she did not understand it, and she would search the sky for the evening star, and she remembered Tara.


"They're the same star, y'know," Tara said, early one morning.

"What?" Willow asked. Tara pointed at the bright brightest light, framed in the eastern window, Willow's fingers still entwined in her own, the two of them tangled up in white sheets.

"The morning star and the evening star," she said, her cheek against Willow's.

"That's right," Willow said. "They're not a star at all, y'know," she offered back. "'s not."

"Nope," Tara said, and kissed Willow's temple.


She liked to forget that, sometimes -- that it wasn't a star, and sometimes she liked to remember it. It depended on her dreams at the moment, and her hopes, and the wind, and how heavy her sword felt in her hand.

Willow's clothes were simpler, and darker, usually green or brown or gray, but her hair was still red, and her eyes were always green.

She would like an older sword, heavier, because she was stronger. But it's hard to find those unless you use magick, ancient ones.

Willow wasn't that strong yet.


Somehow, she remembered that today was the night she had first spent back in her father's house, returning from the place of her mother's kin.

It had been ages, and yet she remembered it still.

That thought still made her smile, with not a trace of bitterness or irony or sorrow, for why should anyone allow the memory of love to cause them pain?


The grass bent beneath her black boots, and Willow could feel the earth beneath the grass, and it comforted her. The moon was bright tonight; not full, just bright, and her sword felt light.

And someone was in her clearing.

Before she even turned around, Willow knew who it was, and the purple dress itself was like Morpheus in the otherworld, but she wore a silver crown over dark brown hair.

When she turned around, Willow fell through everything, and wished until it hurt for words. Only one came to her, and so she whispered it, fearful of the vision and the moonlight and her own tongue and hands.


The woman did not move, and Willow repeated the word.


And then she found herself weeping, for she could feel Tara's kiss on her lips still, and this was a vision before her, and through her tears the woman glowed still. As Willow wept, she began to speak it still, through her own tears: "Tinuviel, Tinuviel -- "

"Shhh," the woman finally said, holding out her hand to Willow.

Willow could feel the earth beneath her feet, and she did not want to think that it wept with her, for if the earth itself should weep, what sorrow could ever be spared its people?

There were arms around her then, and her sword was still in her hand as this woman held her.

Her ears had points, Willow noticed vaguely, before she buried her face in the woman's shoulder and kept crying. There was the feeling of a downy-light hand on her back, stroking, and she cried, and the woman from her dreams whispered to her in the language she had heard within those very dreams.


She fought demons now, in England, with her sword and sometimes her magick. Giles had let her take on one that had nested in a family's home, and she had found that she could do it.

In the coven, they called her Numenelisse now, and she learned that in a tongue older than ancient, it meant Western Star.

Many nights, as well, were spent in the airy house of the Evenstar, and Willow's eyes were dry, and Arwen's hands were gentle. There, too, she told Willow tales that even the Watchers did not know. She learned Arwen's tongue slowly, and began to wear black, and sometimes now she wore red, too.

It was when she felt the evil in the very earth beneath her that Willow knew her time here had to end.

Her last night was spent in Arwen's home, and Willow no longer felt like a trespasser among the ancient objects that surrounded her. Nor did she feel unworthy when Arwen kissed her, touched her, made love to her. Willow only felt a beauty within her, a brightly burning beauty that seemed to have the vaguest edge of peace to it, when her lips, hands, and tongue slid along Elven flesh.

"This battle concerns us all," Arwen told her, as they watched the morning star grow in the east, "and you shall not fight it alone."

"But I am alone," Willow said in Elvish. "And somehow...I don't mind."

Arwen smiled at this, and kissed her, and her lips felt softer than Tara's, but this was just as sweet.

"I am glad to hear that," Arwen whispered. "You are not the only one who fights this battle, nonetheless."

"And I am glad to hear that," Willow answered.

They kissed again, and then Arwen stood. "There is something you must see," she said. "Wait here."

She was back shortly, and knelt beside the soft white couch to offer Willow a sword. It seemed a very weight in the air, the magic and history and the very eld of it -- it was the weight of a small star.

Willow did not take it, though her fingers trailed along it, and her eyes moved very quickly to a picture on the wall, an illustration of something that had happened even before Arwen's time.

"Yes," Arwen said. "And when the time comes, you will wield it in this battle."

Willow nodded, and took her fingers away. "But not now," she said. "I am not ready."

Arwen placed the sword on the ground, sat beside Willow, and kissed her as the sunrise filled the room with blood-red light.


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