Everything had turned out to be a terrible mess and it had led to Cecily pulling away from the Scoobies. She had never been particularly close to the entire gang in the first place, but she was friends by association due to her connection with Buffy. Plus, she frequented the Magic Box since it was the best place in town to restock on all her witchcraft supplies. Whenever she went in she usually got to hang out with Dawn for a bit which was somewhat of a relief to her. The witch felt inclined to keep an eye on the younger Summers sister since Buffy was not around to do so. The girl had been in California visiting Lina for quite some time now so the witch spent most of her free time with Angel. She had not practiced magic as much because she wanted her emotions to be balanced, but she knew she had to ease her way back into again. There was also the fact her mother was running low on supplies and Cecily was happy for the excuse to go to the shop. It was a decent way to reintegrate herself back into the semi-normal life she once had.
She weaved her moped through the crowded streets of the city and made sure to avoid any potential accidents. Her senses were all alert. Her eyes were focused on the road ahead and around her while her body shivered beneath the icy wind that whipped away at her. Winter was not a fun time of year to be riding a moped around, but she had gotten used to it long ago. She usually did a warming spell, but she was not feeling particularly up to it this afternoon. She would get a few basic herbs and crystals and start small. She was not afraid of going off the deep end, but doing any sort of spell while distracted was dangerous. At least she had been wise enough to know as much. The sun stung her eyes as she rounded the final corner that would lead her to the magic shop. She parked her vehicle and looked up at the ever so familiar building before making her way inside.
As she opened the door, the shrill bell rang above her head and she had forgotten that it had been there. It caused her to jump ever so slightly, but she smiled when she saw Anya standing behind the counter. They had only met once before at a party and it would be nice to get to know the woman outside of that environment. She figured she could chat some before she gathered her items so she walked up to the register and greeted, “Hey Anya, how are you doing? The place looks great. I see you did some rearranging.” The witch smiled brightly at the former vengeance demon hoping that the friendly gesture would please the woman. She did not really have much to go on with Anya so complimenting the store was the best ice breaker she had up her sleeve. Her eyes lingered carefully on the woman while she took in a deep inhalation. It was somewhat refreshing to have the aroma of different herbs infiltrating her sense. As she began to converse with Anya, she was surprised to find that she felt relieved to be back in the place.
The girl seemed to be in dreary state, and Lemley didn’t know if it was her place to point that out and maybe try and help. But before she could really make any decisions about what she should or shouldn’t say, she was being asked a question. Lately, Lemley seemed to be running in to a lot of random people in Rome who actually seemed to speak English. It was surprising. She shrugged a little and shook her head. “No, actually, this is my firs’ time here,” she said, giving a small smile. The brunette girl seemed to be looking at her with a soft fascination and Lemley rubbed the back of her head awkwardly. “I hope the chicken salad is good, s’what I got,” she said, motioning to her plate lightly, before picking it up and taking a small bite. The taste was overwhelmingly delicious and she gave a soft sigh at the taste of it. She’d missed tasting things. Now that she had some sort of job, she found that she could actually go out and buy things. Ah, the finer points of life. She wasn’t bathed in luxury in any way, but she did enjoy some of the smaller things in life. Like sandwiches. “It’s delicious!” she commented, smiling brightly at Cecily.
“Oh, um,” she scratched the back of her head. “E-England. Sussex, more specifically,” she lied. She knew she was from England, obviously. She had the accent and her love of tea to prove it. “I just recently moved to Rome, for uh…” she looked around. “To move, I guess. Moved with one of my friends.” It was then that she realized she hadn’t even told the mysterious girl her name. “Oh, goodness!” she exclaimed. “I haven’t told you my name! I’m Lemley,” she said, reaching across the table to shake Cecily’s hand. “Lemley Tyler. What’s your name then?” she asked. The lovely woman introduced herself as Cecily Lenae. Cecily. What a pretty name. Lemley smiled accordingly and relaxed back into her chair. “There sure are a lot of nice people in Rome,” she commented quietly.
She certainly wondered just what was so special about this Cecily girl. She’d obviously been compelled in here for a reason, and Cecily was part of it. But this girl seemed…normal. As normal as they came in Rome, at least. Cecily somehow felt different, like she was putting off some sort of energy, but Lemley couldn’t place it, like there was something in her mind blocking her ability to understand her aura. Lemley, though new to this whole being awake thing, was very in tune with people and nature around her. She could always feel the energy radiating off of things, like animals and humans, and even the trees. She knew it must be something with her past, but, as with everything else, the memory wasn’t there. When she tried to recall feeling like this before, she just came up with a blank slate, a missing slide in the reel that was her memories. It wasn’t like she could just flip a switch and they were there. They were literally gone, it felt like. Removed from her brain somehow. She mildly wondered if there was anything doctor’s could do. Bring back her memories, tap into something in her brain. But these were thoughts to be more touched on when she wasn’t in the company of someone so lovely as Cecily.
Cecily had been slightly surprised at how the angel spoke of where she was from. There was a palpable cloud of confusion surrounding Lemley and it confirmed the witch’s theory that the angel did not have her memories. Truthfully, Cecily expected as much. It was extremely rare for a fallen angel to descend to earth and actually keep their memories. There was something said about the state of purity it left them with. It also kept them with a clean slate and a sense of undying loyalty to their holy mission. However, Cecily still found herself feeling hopeful that the lovely angel would know how to use her powers and would not find her crazy when she questioned her being an angel. Her hopes had soared too high and she was determined that the woman could help Buffy. She missed her love more than she could even begin to express and she had only been in a coma for a few days.
The brunette witch was well aware that hope was a dangerous emotion. It would flutter inside and then it was too easy to fly with it. Hope made it too easy to believe that things would just fall back into place. A small fraction of Cecily knew she was letting herself become to reassured when she had nothing concrete to cling to. In a way, she was childish in her determination proving the notion that no one ever really grows up. She decided to keep up the small talk for just a little bit longer so she could hold on to the small shred of wishful thinking that made her feel as if she could finally breathe freely again. She quickly took a small bite of her sandwich before remarking, “Oh, that sounds lovely. I’ve actually lived her my whole life. When I was younger, I used to visit my aunt in the States every summer which is why my English is so good. That and lately it seems I spend most of my time with Americans.” A fond smile had muddled its way through the small bit of anxiety that was still present.
After she made her little explanation, the witch found herself more eager to just ask about the angel thing. What possible harm could it do? Cecily had made polite conversation, but now the idea of it seemed forced. Her heart rate quickened as she sat there with her nerves beginning to swell over. Her blue eyes fell upon the heavenly warrior whose features were painted softly in natural lighting that peaked through the windows. She swallowed down the lump that was beginning to form in her throat. She made herself focus and take in some of the positive energy in the air before blurting, “So, you do know you’re an angel, right? Your aura is so powerful I could feel it the moment I walked in.” She paused momentarily as the woman gave her a surprised look, but quickly added, “I’m a witch. I’m kind of good at the whole aura reading thing and all.” She smiled widely at Lemley to show that she meant no harm. She doubted anyone could want to cause any damage to the peaceful being. Just being in the presence of an angel could make the darkest soul feel just a little bit lighter. Even through her fear of what would become of Buffy, she felt a little calmer. If the effects lasted, there was the possibility that she could actually get some sleep, but helping her love was more important than letting the sense of relaxation kick in.
It started out as a normal day, today. She had woken up around the same time she always did, just in time to wish Gen a well day and drink the last of the left over coffee or tea Gen had made before work. Since she was still jobless, it was nicer looking clothes and a bright smile before she set out, and made her usual rounds. All the same stores were hiring, and all the same stores were not hiring. Most of the same people milled about, and Lemley found herself standing at the corner of Cross and St. Piere street, looking across and towards a large, towering square building. It stuck out from the Renaissance looking buildings around it like a sore thumb. It was stark and white and sterile. It had to be, seeing as it was the hospital. Just the other day, Lemley had sworn she was never going back. But today of all days, she felt compelled to go to it. Go towards it. She didn’t make it all the way today. Only to the corner, where she stood now, staring up at it with glossy eyes. The small chime of a bell next to her pulled her from her trance and she looked over her shoulder at the shop next to her. It was a small sandwich shop that looked most definitely locally owned.
With a grumble of her stomach, she turned away from the plastic building and opened the door to the small sandwich shoppe, the bell chiming above her head this time. She looked up at it as she entered. Everything seemed a bit off, like she was just outside her body watching the scene unfold, instead of nestled inside her own body, playing out the scene. She ordered her sandwich, sat down, and not a few minutes later, a fair skinned girl with beautiful brown hair sat down across from her. They started talking, when suddenly everything started going fuzzy. There was a loud noise in Lemley’s ears and she blinked back harshly.
Then snapped back to herself and she was still standing on the corner of the streets, staring at the sandwich shop as a few people got up from their table and left, the bell chiming once again. Talk about an out of body experience. Lemley looked around for a second, as if expecting the pretty girl from her day dream to walk right up to her on the street. No sign of anyone who resembled her. She looked warily back at the hospital. The day was brisk and she pulled her jean jacket around her closer, her scarf fitting snug around her neck. There was no way she was going to go into the hospital today. These things took time. Her eyes glanced back at the shop and she felt the pull of something internal. She felt overly compelled to go inside the shop, just like in her day dream. With a heavy breath, she turned away from the streets and headed into the cozy shop, hearing the bell chime like it had the first three times she’d heard it. She didn’t stop to look at it this time, however, and went straight up to the counter.
Luckily at least one of the employees spoke English and was able to take Lemley’s order. She waited by the end of the counter for her chicken salad sandwich and espresso, then picked up her food and settled into the table back in the corner— the same one she’d sat at in her day dream. Now all she needed was for the beautiful woman to come sit at her table, and she’d begin to have the sneaking suspicion that maybe that daydream wasn’t just a daydream. She hadn’t told Gen, or anyone really, but she’d been having “dreams” that usually ended up more like premonitions. They were small things, like someone tripping in the street, or someone knocking something over. She usually was around in a casual enough manner to make it look like she’d caught them on accident. But inside Lemley knew there was something up with her, and she certainly didn’t understand why. They weren’t visions, they weren’t messages sent to her— more like pushes in the right direction. Small nudges of ‘oh, maybe I should do this…’. She’d watched movies about psychic people who could predict the future, but this wasn’t like that. They were always fuzzy, like she was watching herself through a lens. And they didn’t happen often.
But today, as it turned out, was one of those days. At first Lemley was staring at the wall on the far side of the room, and then there was someone blocking her vision. The woman. She blinked and looked up, her eyes locked on her face. Yeah, there was definitely something happening with her. Maybe it was a side effect of the amnesia. Maybe these were some sort of de ja vu memories leaking from her brain? Had she been here before? Done this once already? Lemley blinked. “Oh, yeah, sure,” she said after realizing the woman had asked her a question. “Go right ahead. I’m not expectin’ anyone.” Except, sort of, you. “Cecily. Nice to meet you,” she smiled, holding out her hand. “I’m Lemley. You come here often?” she asked, looking around the small cafe. It certainly didn’t look like a big tourist attraction, which meant mainly locals came here. And if Cecily was here, it was either a happy accident or she was a local. Lemley guessed the latter. Maybe she was getting better at reading the human condition after all.
The kind angel had agreed to let Cecily sit with her. She seemed pretty relaxed and almost expectant in Cecily’s company. She wondered if the angel knew she was coming or if it was more of a tugging feeling. Certain magnetism had drawn her to Lemley, but she had no idea if the same feeling was returned. The positive aura could have been enough to attract Cecily, but she would see where there conversation went and if this fallen angel knew exactly what she was. The angel’s greeting was genuine and sweet. Cecily knew she had possibly found a friend on top of a heavenly warrior. It was hard to keep her mind from lingering to Buffy, but she needed to focus on the friendly conversation aspect of this meeting. She had high hopes that maybe Lemley could help Buffy and the bright energy that surrounded the angel did nothing to calm Cecily’s excitement.
The question of whether this was a regular hang out for the good witch lingered inside the brunette’s mind for a moment. She only really frequented the sandwich shop when she had a loved one in the hospital. So back before her dad died and was there a lot she had come here a lot and she supposed the past few months had been filled with just as many hospital visits. The little café was apparently a regular stomping ground for her now which spoke volumes of how her life was going lately. This was Buffy’s second trip to the hospital and that was failing to mention the Cordelia, Xander, and Willow hospital debacles. Everyone was getting hurt and it left a certain amount of fear lingering inside her. She tried to shake away all that discomfort and focus on the conversation so she smiled and responded, “I guess this has become a regular spot for me. Sandwiches are all good. What about you?”
As Lemley responded to her question, Cecily quickly unwrapped the sandwich from the paper wrap that it was in and took a large bite. She had been a lot hungrier than she had remembered and noted she would need to thank Angel for making her eat. She knew she had to take good care of herself, but it was hard to pay attention to those details when the love of your life was lying in a coma. Still she tried to focus on the small details of the shop so she was not too grim of company for the angel. Cecily focused in on the light surrounding Lemley and the general buzz of people inside the shop. Overall, most of the people there were happy so she made it a point to soak in their good vibes.
After the question was answered, Cecily found herself wondering just how much this angel knew about herself and where she came from. She had never actually spoken to a fallen angel before but she had done her fair share of reading. With another quick bite of her sandwich she gathered her thoughts enough to ask, “So where are you from anyway?” If her reading had been correct the angel would not have any prior memories to her life before her current mission or cause. Amnesia seemed to be a big thing among angels. There was the occasional exception, but somehow Cecily doubted that was the case with Lemley. She paid close attention to Lemley’s body language as she answered the question because this could be an telling clue as to whether or not the angel knew of her greatness
21/∞ Photos of Scarlett Johansson(& Cobie Smulders)