Willow is having trouble dealing with everything.
“What?” She repeated. “Are you fuckin’ serious?”
He gave her a blank look. “Why are you mad at me?”
Willow rolled her eyes, grabbed some clothes out of her bag and headed towards the bathroom. Gerard just watched her feeling very confused while trying to go over in his mind what he had done to cause such anger. When she reappeared moments later, dressed, he could tell by the look on her face she was still very angry.
“So are you going to tell me why you’re mad?”
Willow stopped in the middle of the room. “Look I don’t have time for this now. Mikey is waiting for me.” She started for the door but he grabbed her arm. “I want to know why you’re so fuckin’ pissed at me.”
Willow looked down at her arm where he was gripping her. The electricity that flowed between them only made her angrier. She didn’t want to feel this now. It was unfair. “Please let go.” She said evenly.
“If I do will you tell me what’s wrong?” He asked.
She nodded and he reluctantly let her arm go. He had been enjoying the feeling and was thinking that maybe they had time to act on it before she had to meet Mikey.
“Gerard don’t you understand? Mikey told us about seeing Martha. He was upset he couldn’t communicate with her. This is important to him but what did you do? You made him feel like an idiot.”
“I did not.” Gerard said frowning.
“Yes, you did. Instead of understanding how important this is to him you launched into a tirade about how people were going to think he’s crazy because he was talking to himself.”
“Well they will.” He said defending his actions.
Willow mentally counted to ten in her head. She was trying so hard not to snap at him again. “Look you know Mikey kept all of this inside before because he was afraid that was what would happen. But now he’s accepted his abilities and is trying to deal with them. You just brought up his fears again.”
Gerard looked stunned, “I didn’t mean to.”
She felt some of her anger fade, “Well you did. I’ve told you how important it is to him that you believe in him. What you did hurt him.”
“Shit.” Gerard muttered taking a step away from her. “I didn’t mean to do that.” He sat down on the bed. “I love my brother.”
Willow sighed, “I know you do. And I understand that you said what you did because you don’t want people saying bad things about him. Still you need to be careful what you say. Mikey needs to believe in himself and he needs to believe that you support him.”
He looked down lost in thought. Willow moved towards the door. She was worried about Mikey and wanted to get to him.
She turned back to him. “Yes?”
“I really am sorry. I’ll get dressed and meet up with you guys okay? I’ll make sure Mikey knows I support him.”
She nodded, “Okay.”
Her hand was on the doorknob, “Yes?”
“Even when you’re furious with me you look fuckin’ adorable. I’ve never seen you that mad.”
She had to laugh, “Thanks. I do have a temper you know?”
He tilted is head to study her. “No actually there is a lot about you I don’t know but I want to learn.”
His words surprised her. She opened her mouth to respond but a knock on the door startled her. She opened it to find Mikey in the hallway.
“You ready?” He asked impatiently.
“Yeah.” She said with a smile. As she started to close the door she saw Gerard still sitting on the bed with a look of sadness covering his face. “Hold on just a minute” She said to Mikey. Quickly she crossed over to Gerard and surprised him by leaning down and placing a quick kiss on his lips. Then she turned and left the room.
Gerard sat on the bed feeling his lips tingle from the kiss. “What am I going to do?” he whispered to the empty room.
Unfortunately there was no sign of Martha when Willow and Mikey returned to the kitchen, the spot he had seen her earlier. The rest of the day Mikey was in a melancholy mood and nothing anyone said could bring him out of it. While the band practiced in the afternoon Willow snuck away to be alone. She needed some time to think. She needed some time away from Gerard. Because of the unexplained connection they shared being near him made it difficult for her to be in tune with her abilities. She had just returned from a walk around the grounds when, as she entered the mansion, she spotted the dark man as she begun to call him. This was the departed spirit who worried her the most. As before he was standing in the main living room staring out the window. As Willow watched she decided to do something she rarely did. She approached him and tried to make contact. Taking a deep breath she spoke in a soft voice.
“I know you are aware I can see you.”
The man did not turn from the window.
“And I know you understand that I’m aware you used one of us to unleash some of your anger.”
This time he did turn from the window. Willow’s breath caught when she saw the look of pure hatred on his face. Suddenly she felt to her knees as a blinding pain shot through her head accompanied by terrible images. She tried to block them but he was powerful.
Ray, who had decided to get some fresh air during a practice break saw and rushed to her side. He kneeled beside her. “Willow, what’s wrong?”
Willow couldn’t speak. She closed her eyes, put her hands to her head and rocked back and forth.
“What can I do?” Ray asked frantically.
“What’s going on?” Gerard was suddenly kneeling on Willow’s other side.
She couldn’t deal with this if she was consumed with fear. And she was consumed with fear, not for herself but Gerard.
“Please.” She whispered opening her eyes and looking at Ray. “Please take Gee outside.” The pain was excruciating. “Please, now.”
Ray locked eyes with Gerard.
“I’m not fuckin’ leaving her.” Gerard said shaking his head. He put his arm around Willow. “Sugar, tell we what’s going on?”
His touch made it worse because now the Dark Man knew what images to put into her mind to scare her. She saw fire, blood and death. She saw Gerard in the mists of these images.
Willow grabbed Ray’s hand, “Please, I’ll explain later. Take him out.”
Ray was confused but there was something in Willow’s voice that made him believe she knew what she was doing and that he needed to heed her words. “Gee, come with me.”
“No way.” The fear in Gerard’s eyes was real.
“Trust her, Gee.” Ray said standing up. “You have to trust that she knows what she is doing.”
Gerard looked torn. He didn’t want to leave Willow’s side.
“Please.” Willow whispered through the pain.
Reluctantly Gerard got to his feet. “This is fucked up.” He planned on stepping outside but no further.
Once they had left the mansion Willow forced herself to stand and face the Dark Man who had once again returned to stare out the window.
“The images you put in my head couldn’t block out your thoughts completely.” She said taking a deep breath. “I know now.”
The Dark Man surprised her by turning but this time his face held only sadness.
“What you couldn’t change in life, you can’t change in the afterlife. Let her go.” She whispered. “You know it’s time.”
He stared into Willow’s eyes a moment then vanished.
Willow slowly made her way to the nearest chair and collapsed. Tears coursed down her cheeks and she took several deep breaths.
A few minutes later Gerard and Ray appeared again.
“Willow?” Gerard said her voice softly. “Can we come in now?”
“Yes.” She said tiredly, “He’s gone for now.”
“Who’s gone?” Ray asked walking in and taking a seat across from her.
Willow surprised them by looking at Gerard, “Can we go some place for the night? I need to get away from here. Just for tonight. I need to try to clear my mind.”
Gerard kneeled down beside her chair, “Sure, Sugar. I’ll go grab some of our stuff. Just stay here, okay?”
Willow nodded and he took off for the stairs. She leaned her head back and tried again to take a calming breath. Ray sat across from her silently watching. Finally he spoke, “You can’t discuss it?”
Willow was still in a considerable amount of pain and her usual good nature was being put to the test. “No, I can’t.” The words came out angry.
Ray was surprised by the anger. After a moment he said, “Christa told me about the conversation the two of you had.”
It was very hard at this moment for Willow to control her emotions. The pain and fear she’d just been through was weighing heavily on her mind. “Yes, she told me what you think of me.” She snapped.
Ray sighed, “That’s not what I think of you Willow.”
“Yeah, it is. You think I’m playing him.”
“No, that’s not what I think. I said that I was worried about how he would react if that was true.” He tried to explain.
“So then you think that maybe that’s my agenda. You know I’m glad I can’t hear your thoughts.”
Ray leaned foreword and looked her directly in the eyes. “Tell me how you really feel about him?”
Willow stared back. “Why? You know as well as I do that this is only temporary, that when our time here is over that I will return to my life and he will return to his. What difference does it make how I really feel about him? Oh wait, maybe you think that I’m going to try to convince him that I’m different from the other women in his past.” Her laugh was empty, “Well I’m fucking different all right. But if he can’t see for himself that I’d never hurt him then there is nothing I can do to change that.”
“But do you love him, Willow?” Ray said slowly, “Would you always tell him the truth and never lie to him?”
Willow felt like a spider caught in a web. She couldn’t answer this question and it broke her heart. “Please tell Mikey I’ll be back in the morning.” She said standing. “And tell Gee that I’m waiting outside for him.”
Ray watched her slowly walk out of the room. He knew deep in his heart that something was very wrong.
“I feel like I’ve let Mikey down.” Willow said as she settled into the rented car and fastened her seatbelt. “I shouldn’t be leaving.”
Gerard got behind the wheel and fastened his seatbelt. “Ray is going to tell Mikey I convinced you to get away for the night. We didn’t think it was best to tell him about whatever the hell it was that happened to you back there.” He started the engine and put the car into drive.
Willow glanced over at him. “It probably is best not to tell him about that right now but it’s wrong for you to take the blame. He’ll probably be upset.”
Gerard laughed, “That’s okay. My brother gets mad at me from time to time.” He reached over for her hand. “Are you okay, really?”
Willow pulled her hand from his. She couldn’t deal with his touch at the moment her head was still pounding, her thoughts to confused. However she didn’t miss Gerard’s hurt look.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered.
He nodded. “It’s okay.”
Now she was worried she’s hurt his feelings. “It’s just right now my head feels like it’s going to explode. It’s like total sensory overload.”
“And the feeling between us just adds to it.” He guessed.
Willow leaned her head back and closed her eyes. “Yeah.” She whispered.
They drove for several minutes before Gerard spoke again. “Will you tell me what happened?”
He nodded to himself, “Okay. I’m sorry about whatever the fuck happened but I’m glad you’re not just tired of my touch.”
Willow opened her eyes and looked over at him. She hadn’t expected him to admit that to her. “I could never grow tired of your touch.” She said softly.
Gerard spoke without looking over at her. “Never say never, Sugar.”