by Susan L. Carr

Copyright © October 2006

Rating: PG
Disclaimer: All non-original characters herein belong to persons such as Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, WB, etc, etc, etc, rather than me, myself and I. All Watchers characters belong to CN Winters and the wonderful Watchers staff. No compensation is received by me, only the pleasure I take in writing it.
Distribution: The Mystic Muse, Watchers, LiveJournal.
Ask if you want it and I will probably say "Yes."
Feedback: Always welcome.
Spoilers: Watchers: Based on a True Story
Author's Notes: This was written for the Taming the Muse. Prompt was "Glissade."
Pairing: Willow/Rowena

Summary: Willow has a secret.

Willow watched her lover from her perch on the chilly bench on the sidelines of the outdoor ice rink. She snuggled deeper into the fleece blanket they had brought and took a sip of the hot steaming coffee. She moved slightly to return Rowena's wave on her latest pass. As she tucked her hand back under the blanket, her engagement bracelet caught her eye and she smiled in happiness. It was only during infrequent moments such as this that she allowed herself to revel in the feeling.

She stretched out her feet clad in their insulated boots, her own skates lying frozen beside the bench. She wasn't much for the skating, and only had enough stamina to last about a dozen turns around the rink, but Rowena had been born with skates on and was almost as good as Buffy. The two spent many hours at the skating rink in Cleveland as part of their workout routines and Willow was happy they had become friends. Willow watched proudly as Rowena made her way to the center of the rink and into a two-foot spin. As she spun out of it, the blonde's eyes met Willow's and she grinned happily.

After draining the last of her coffee, Willow frowned at her cup and then put it down. She sighed as she thought about the events of last month and what she needed to tell Rowena. Secrets never worked well for the Scoobies, which is why the two of them had come to Thornkirk to tell Rowena's family of their engagement. Mr. Allister and Rowena's brother had been thrilled, but Mrs. Allister just frowned and left the room. Mary had been conspicuously absent during this visit.

"Just as well," Willow muttered to herself. Having Rowena's sister around only added fuel to Mrs. Allister's fire. Willow had given up on them ever accepting their relationship. Normally, Willow wouldn't have cared, but she knew how much it hurt Rowena. She could only hope they would come around like her own parents had.

Sheila had been thrilled with the engagement and had immediately organized a letter-writing campaign to have the Defense of Marriage Act repealed. Ira had shaken his head at his wife's latest cause célèbre and went back to his work. Willow appreciated her mother's efforts, but thought them in vain. And then she chuckled at Mrs. Allister's efforts to have Canada's Civil Marriage Act repealed. Irony never stops being ironic, she thought.

Rowena, her face flushed from the cold and exercise, slid to a stop in front of Willow. She nimbly hopped over the barrier and gracefully made her way to the bench and sat next to Willow.

"You were beautiful out there," Willow said giving Rowena a kiss on her chilly lips.

"Thanks," the blonde replied and started to remove her skates. Willow unwrapped half of the blanket and tucked it around Rowena's back. Rowena finished lacing up her boots and then snuggled close to Willow.

"Save me any coffee?" she asked.

"No, sorry," Willow said, biting her lip.

"It's okay," Rowena said. "Dad said he'll have some hot cocoa ready when we get back."

"He's a sweetie," Willow replied.

Rowena nodded in agreement and they watched the skaters glissade over the ice, both just sitting in comfortable silence. Finally, Willow shivered.

"Getting cold?" Rowena asked.

"Yeah," Willow admitted. "Ready to go?"

They gathered up their skates, blankets and thermos and headed for the car. Rowena gallantly held the passenger door open for Willow, who smiled. As Rowena buckled her seatbelt Willow turned to her and said, "Ro?"


"There's something I need to tell you."

Rowena sighed. "Me too, my love." She started the car and drove carefully out onto the snow covered road.

The End

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