A/N: I never intended to continue this one-shot, but I'm currently drafting a new fic to add to the Monsters By Any Other Name series I have on my AO3 account (same name as here: rebaobsessions) with Willow aiding in the search for Christy. It picks up after Billie is already an established part of the group, but I couldn't help wondering how Billie had met them in my altered universe. This bonus chapter I never intended explains just that.
Please come check out the rest of the little universe I'm crafting on AO3. (I don't like posting here because the format is less intuitive, so to those of you who only use fanfiction, I'm sorry...).
I hope you enjoy.
A wild year later found Willow and her honorary family enjoying a remarkable ordinary afternoon. After the whirlwind that had been the Avatars, and then Zankou, the reprieve was more than welcome. Willow was curled up with a book in her favorite armchair, watching Leo roll plastic cars around with Wyatt and Phoebe play peak-a-boo with Chris. Piper was in the kitchen, producing heavenly smells, and Paige and Victor were due any time now. In an hour or so, it was bound to be a near-perfect family night.
However… the scene was somewhat ruined by Phoebe trying to get Leo and Willow to weigh in on her most recent column problem, even as she made funny faces at her youngest nephew.
"Come on, guys," she urged, simultaneously making a faux surprised face at Chris, "Just a little help?"
Willow shook her head in amusement, "I don't know why you think I'm qualified to give any sort of advice."
Leo gave Willow a semi-desperate look, "Right. And I'm, uh…"
"Leo, please?" Phoebe scrunched her nose up at her captive audience of one; Chris let out a delighted gurgle. "You were like an actual guardian angel."
"Yeah, but I was your guardian, Phoebe," he protested, "And I don't really deal with everyday problems."
Willow let out an amused snort, "Says the headmaster of a school full of unruly children and teenagers."
Phoebe let out a delighted chuckle and Leo turned his best glare on the young redheaded witch. Before the discussion could continue, however, there was a tell-tale tinkle and a shower of bluish-white lights as Paige materialized just in front of Willow.
"Hey, Paige," Phoebe smiled at her sister, a carefully innocent look plastered on her face, "Do you—"
"I have a new charge," Paige interrupted.
Everyone perked up at that. Willow even put aside her book and leaned towards her whitelighter. "Really?" she asked eagerly.
Paige turned around, obviously surprised to find Willow behind her, and made a wry face, "Yeah, but I keep missing her. She, like, calls for help, but when I show up she's not there."
Leo frowned, "How do you know your charge is a she?"
"Well… I just saw a glimpse of her," Paige admitted, "I followed her call to a movie theater, but all I found was a demon, and he knocked me super hard against the wall. When I got back up, the demon had already left and she was halfway out the door."
Phoebe's eyes were wide, "What does she look like?"
"Black hair," Paige gestured vaguely at her own face, "sunglasses, skimpy black outfit." She turned to Leo, "Why does she keep calling me and then not being there?"
"She probably doesn't even realize she's calling you," Leo suggested, "With new charges, a lot of the time it's just subliminal."
"Do you think she's new-new?" Willow asked, "Or more me-new?" After a year of living with the younger witch and her babbling way of describing things, none of the other adults batted an eyelash.
Paige shrugged, "I don't know for sure, but it seemed like she was flying blind. And I think I heard her say something about her first demon when I was busy trying to get off the floor, so it's not like she lived on a Hellmouth or something."
"Well," Phoebe declared, standing up and swooping Chris up with her, "There's only one thing to do then. I'll go get the map and scrying crystal."
Willow stood up as well and reached for Chris, "I'll go tell Piper we're going to have another guest for dinner."
Phoebe smiled and handed the little boy off to the other witch before turning and starting up the stairs. Leo chuckled at them and turned his attention back to Wyatt, pushing a fire truck towards the bulldozer he had just flipped over. "I'll just stay here with Wyatt."
Willow chuckled at the ex-whitelighter, shifted Chris onto her hip, and set off towards the kitchen. Behind her, Paige squawked indignantly, "What should I do then?" but Leo just laughed unsympathetically at her.
"Hey, Piper," Willow called as she reached to kitchen doorway. The scent this close made the ex-Scooby's mouth water; it smelled like rich red marinara pasta sauce and balsamic salad dressing and toasting bread. The scene was just as chaotic as the smell; Piper was dancing around a labyrinth of pots and pans and cutting boards and bowls, looking entirely at peace.
"Yeah, Will?" she asked distractedly, reaching into a cabinet with one hand and stirring the contents of a bowl with the other.
"Paige has a new charge; Phoebe and I are going to help her find her, so we might have a guest for dinner." Willow glanced down at her current passenger as he made grabby hands in front of her face.
Piper froze and turned to give Willow a shocked look, "Is it a witch?"
"Yeah," Willow nodded and shifted Chris a bit so he could reach her short red hair. He made a pleased gurgle and buried a hand in it. "From what Paige could see, she's hunting demons blind."
"We certainly can't have that," Piper agreed passionately, already turning back to her current project. "Let me know if you need my help."
"Sure," Willow smiled at the eldest Halliwell's back before turning and heading back to the living room.
She arrived just in time to hear Paige exclaim excitedly, "Got her!"
Willow blinked as Paige stood up from where she had been kneeling beside the coffee-table-turned-scrying-station and disappeared. "How did I miss all the action?" She complained to Phoebe, who was still knelt by the map. "I wasn't even gone for a minute!"
The advice columnist shrugged and gave her a 'what can you do?' look. Willow shook her head, accidentally dislodging Chris's hand, and plopped down on the couch.
Phoebe made a face at Chris; Chris giggled. Willow smiled. A few feet away, Leo performed a horrible imitation of a fire truck siren; Wyatt laughed and flapped a hand at his father. Willow smiled wider.
She had never expected this, but it was certainly wonderful.
A few minutes later, Willow was curled back up in her chair, book in hand. Chris was now firmly glued to his grandfather's side—Victor had just arrived—and Wyatt had lost interest in his cars and was now engrossed in a coloring book. Phoebe was sprawled inelegantly across the floor (still complaining about her column) and Leo had disappeared into the kitchen.
Once again, the trademark tinkle preceded a glimmer of lights before Paige materialized with a young blond woman… about two inches from Phoebe's head. Said witch let out a startle yelp and scrambled to the side and up onto her feet. Disoriented and equally surprised, the unknown girl let out a matching yelp and stumbled backwards. Reacting on pure instinct, Willow reached out with her telekinesis and steadied her before she could fall on Wyatt. (Wyatt's force field flickered into existence briefly, but he just kept scribbling away. Silly boy.)
"Paige!" Phoebe glared at her sister, "What was that? You nearly crushed me!"
"Sorry," Paige offered, grimacing slightly.
"Don't be sorry," Willow jumped in, slowly getting to her feet, "She was asking for it."
"I was not!" Phoebe redirected her glare. The twinkle in her eye rather ruined the angry look.
Willow huffed at the psychic, "You've been complaining non-stop since Paige left." Phoebe wrinkled her nose but didn't respond. Willow gave a small smirk of victory before turning her attention to the newcomer.
The blond haired witch had watched the entire exchange, whipping her head back and forth like she was watching a tennis match, and looked rather confused, so Willow stepped towards her and extended a hand. "Hello!" she greeted brightly, "I'm Willow Rosenberg and you're in the Halliwell manor." The woman hesitantly accepted the handshake, so she barreled on, "You've already met Paige, but she, Mrs. Grumpy-pants (who's also known as Phoebe) and Piper (who's in the kitchen), are the Charmed Ones. The little tikes, Chris and Wyatt, belong to Piper and Leo (who's also in the kitchen), and this splendid gentleman is Victor, the sisters' father."
The woman blinked blankly at Willow, then tilted her head a bit. "All I got from that is that you're Willow. Uh… I'm Billie."
Phoebe chuckled at that and took over the introductions, walking the young witch through the information at a much more sedate pace. Poor Billie still looked overwhelmed, but at least she seemed to be absorbing the information.
"Dinner!" Piper yelled from the general direction of the kitchen, effectively halting any continued discussion.
Chris let out an excited yell and scrambled off his grandpa's lap and hurled himself towards said food. The others rapidly followed, but Willow hung back with the newest addition.
Billie looked towards Willow with a lost expression, "Is this normal? When Paige explained everything, I kinda expected we'd go right after the demon I'd been hunting…"
"No," Willow denied cheerfully, "This isn't normal at all. There's generally more danger and chaos. I recommend enjoying the time off." She leaned forward in a conspiratorial manner, and whispered, "Eat as much of Piper's food as you can."
Billie gave her a doubtful look, "You are witches though, right?"
"Oh yes," Willow assured her, "We're as witch-y as they come. Buuut," she continued wisely, "Even witches have to eat."
A reluctant smile broke across Billie's face. Internally, Willow performed a fist pump. Success!
"Come on," Willow urged, taking her new companion by the arm, "Let's get some food. I'm sure we'll finish welcoming you into the family later. We might even do some witch-y stuff too!"
Billie shook her head and allowed Willow to drag her towards the heavenly scents. The redhead chose to take that as a positive sign as well. Baby steps, she thought to herself, and she'll be used to us in no time. After all… Willow had gotten used to it.
Somehow, and incredibly, Willow had found a second home in the Halliwells. It had been an entire year (though sometimes it felt like no time at all), but the veteran witch still marveled at the lovely world she'd stumbled into, especially in quiet moments like these.
She had never expected this, but it was frankly… well. Magical.
A/N: Aaaand there you go!