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The Saddest Song

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Summary: An ode to Tara. Willow travels to Las Vegas to tell the one relative Tara still loved that she's gone.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
CSI > CSI Las VegasmoonstalkerFR712,0772183,1932 Mar 092 Mar 09Yes
Title: The Saddest Song
Author: moonstalker24
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to the great Joss Whedon. CSI belongs to CBS and Jerry Bruckheimer. Title and lyrics are Annie Lennox's 'The Saddest Song'.
Category: Drama
Spoilers: Set post S6 of BtVS and post 'Grave Danger' for CSI.
Rating: FR-
Pairing: None.
Summary: An ode to Tara. Willow travels to Las Vegas to tell the one relative Tara still loved that she's gone.
Warning: Tissue Alert.
Author's Note: Sadness. I loved Tara. I think she deserves a ode every now and then.

The Saddest Song

"Darling are you feeling
The same thing that I'm seeing
The troubles of the day
Took my breath away
Took my breath away..."

Willow Rosenburg was absolutely shattered. Her heart broken into so many tiny pieces she hand no hope of finding them all, much less mending it. She gazed dispondently out the high window of her hotel room at the lights of the Las Vegas strip and felt no joy in the brightness that just a few months ago would have excited her.

She'd have dragged Tara out the door to see anything and everything they could.

She couldn't do that though. Tara was gone. Dead. Shot. Tara was gone and that was why she was here. The wonders of Las Vegas held no joy for the redhead as a tear rolled down her cheek. Two months in Devon, England with Giles and the Coven had brought her to a certain point of healing and she had broached the subject with Giles.

Tara had an uncle whom she loved very much. He was her mother's brother, and even after her estrangement from her family, they had still exchanged letters. Tara's uncle deserved to know the truth. Deserved to know that his niece, who was finally happy, was gone. Gone far away and never coming back.

Willow felt like she needed to be the one to tell him. Giles had looked at her, watched her silently for a long moment and then, solemnly agreed. Willow was healing from the magic, learning to breathe without it. Learning to be Willow again. She had progressed in leaps and bounds, but her healing where Tara was concerned had halted. She could go for minutes without thinking of the blonde witch, but the pain was still there, unaknowleged and festering.

Willow said that she felt she owed it to this uncle to tell him what had happened to her Tara - their Tara - herself.

Giles had bought the plane ticket the next day.

She would fly to Las Vegas for a weekend. Meet with Tara's uncle and then come back to Devon. She wasn't nearly ready magically speaking to return to Sunnydale. Willow had agreed. She still had a lot of work to do.

Giles had driven her to the airport. Had walked her inside and hugged her for a long time before asking if she was sure she didn't want him along. She was sure, this was something she needed to do on her own. Something she had to do on her own.

So Willow had gotten on the plane. Had sat in one place overcome with an overwhelming melancholy for fourteen hours and she was in Vegas. She'd gone to the hotel, checked in and gone to her room. When she got there she took a long shower, just standing under the spray and letting the water run over her. She did that a lot these days.

Then, when she was done, she'd looked him up. He worked nights, so she thought she'd call, ask to meet with him. Maybe lunch the next afternoon.

But she didn't know what to say. Didn't know how to tell him that Tara had been shot by an evil man. That Tara hadn't even been the target, just a collateral damage. That she'd been gone almost instantly.

She couldn't tell him the rest. That in her grief the black magic she'd become addicted to had consumed her. That'd she'd hunted down and killed Tara's murderer. That she'd almost ended the world.

Suddenly Willow longed for Xander with the intensity of a thousand suns. Wished with all her heart that she had thought to call him and ask him to be here. But he wasn't. She was on her own.

She reached for the phone.

"Now you're no longer talking
And I'm no longer listening
There's nothing left to say
Said it anyway
Said it anyway..."

Gilbert Grissom was exhausted. It was nearing the end of his shift and it had been a long night. He smiled at Nick Stokes as he passed him on his way to his office. Nick smiled back, his expression a little strained. Gil couldn't blame him. It was his first night back in the lab after being buried. He would spend a week here in the lab before getting back into the field. The stares from everyone in the lab had to be grating on him.

Gil entered his office just as the phone started ringing and he hurried around his desk, dropping the file on the surface as he picked up the handset. "Grissom."

There was silence on the other side for a moment, then a female voice spoke. "Dr. Gilbert Grissom?"

"Yes?" Gil sat down. She sounded nervous.

"M-my name is Willow Rosenburg, you don't know me." She said, stumbling a little at first. "I-I knew your niece, Tara."

Gil smiled at the thought Tara. She was such a caring young woman, despite her family. He hadn't heard from her in a while though. He frowned suddenly, wondering why her friend was calling and not Tara herself. "Is Tara okay, she's not hurt is she?"

There was a longer pause on the other side, Gil could hear the sound of hitched breathing. He wondered if this Willow was crying. "There's been an accident."

"Where is she?" Gil asked. "I'll be there as soon as I can."

"Oh!" Willow sounded surprised. "It's nothng - no it is something. I'm in town... Could we meet tomorrow? Maybe for lunch?"

Gil wondered how badly Tara was hurt for this girl to come and tell him in person. "Of course. There's a diner near the Crime Lab, do you have a pen."

"Yeah, shoot."

"And I want you not
And I need you not
I'm dying
Cos this is the saddest song I've got
The saddest song I've got..."

Willow straightened her skirt nervously before she stepped into the diner. She looked around in the dim lighting for some sign of the gray haired man she'd only ever seen pictures of. She spotted him in a booth near the back. She swallowed heavily before squaring her shoulders determindly and walking toward him.

"Dr. Grissom?"

Gil looked up and brief surprise flashed across his face before his face became neutral again. She was pretty, and very young, and also, very depressed looking. He stood and shook her outstreched hand. "Miss Rosenburg."

"Please call me Willow." She said as she sat down across from him.

"Gil, then." She nodded with a little smile and waited for the waitress to take their orders before she spoke again. "I don't know how much about her life she told you, Gil, but I was Tara's girlfriend."

Was? Had they broken up? He'd known his niece was a lesbian. Last he'd heard she'd been seeing someone, maybe this girl was that someone. He could tell that she was struggling with the words so he remained quiet.

"I'm sorry to tell you this, but Tara was shot and killed two months ago."

Gil's heart broke a little. For himself and for the girl in front of him as a tear rolled down her cheek and she bit her lip, looking at her hands. Tara had been special, one of the bright stars in this world. Full of love and kindness. Gil reached out and covered Willow's hands with one of his own. She looked up.

"What happened?" He asked softly.

Willow swallowed. "Our friend Buffy was being stalked by this crazy evil guy and eventually things sprialed out of control and he came after Buffy with a gun. Buffy and another friend Xander were talking in the yard when he came at them. He shot Buffy in the chest..." Willow stopped speaking and breathed for a minute and then continued. "Tara and I were upstairs talking. O-one of Warren's shots went wild."

Tears had started leaking down her face and Gil felt one of his own slip into his beard. He squeezed Willow's hand and waited for her to continue.

"It went through the window, hit Tara." Willow's voice hitched. "They said it was almost instant. That - that she didn't feel anything."

Gil's heart went out to this girl. This girl who had watched his niece die right in front of her, who had probably held her in her arms while she bled out. "Your friend, Buffy?" He asked softly.

"She's okay. It was touch and go for a while, but she's okay."

They were silent for a long moment and then Gil spoke. "Thank you Willow."

She looked up, startled. Gil continued. "For loving Tara enough to come here and tell me yourself. For giving me the peace I needed, knowing she was loved that much."

She smiled shly. "I'm sorry about Tara."

"So am I."

"I-I'll just - "

"Stay." Gil said. "Have lunch, and tell me about my niece. Tell me about Tara."

Willow smiled.

"Darling are you healing
From all the scars appearing
Don't it hurt a lot
Don't know how to stop
Don't know how it stops..."

Willow felt something inside her easing as she boarded the plane that would take her back to England the following day. She felt peaceful, like she'd done something for Tara that would mean something to her. She settled into her seat and gazed out the window and for the first time in many months felt like maybe everything really would be okay.

Talking to Gil yesterday had really eased the ache in her chest. Talking to him about Tara, not about how she died, but about how she had lived. About who she had been. She'd told stories, and he'd told stories and she had begun to heal, and she'd seen the same healing in his eyes when they'd parted ways.

He'd asked about the burial, and she'd told him of the peaceful hill they'd found for her.

He'd asked about their life together. About their friends, about Tara's classes.

He had never asked what had happened to Warren Mears. Willow had never offered the information. She thought maybe he'd track the file down eventually, working for the crime lab and all; but not yet.

Coming here had been the right decision, and she could tell that to Giles with a smile. She could tell him about a man in Nevada who reminded her of Tara. Who had Tara's kind eyes and caring demenor. She could tell him that Tara's only real family had forgiven her.

And that she was finally begining to be okay.

"Now there's no sense in seeing
The colours of the morning
Hold the clouds at bay
Chase them all away
Chase them all away..."

Gil entered his office that night and set that night's assignments on his desk as he sat. He thought of Tara as he placed a picture of his lost niece on his desk and smiled softly at her image. He had lost her far too early, but he was glad she'd found her place in the world.

He looked at his computer and wondered if he should track down the police file.

"Hey Gris."

Gil looked up and smile at Nick. "Hey, Nicky, how are you?"

"I'm okay, you?" Nick asked, using Gil's question as an invitation into his office. He sat down across the desk from his mentor and friend, contemplating the first picture frame he'd ever seen on the man's desk, positioned so that that face of a beautiful blonde girl could be seen from almost anywhere.

"Who is she?" Nick asked, gesturing to the picture.

"My niece, Tara." Gil said. "She passed away recently."

Nick took that to mean that Gil had only just found out. "I'm sorry." He said quietly. "You okay?"

Gil smiled at his friend. "It hurts, but I think I will be okay."

Nick nodded. Gil watched him look at Tara's picture for a long moment and decided that he wouldn't look into Tara's murder yet. He wasn't ready for the anger. He just wanted to grieve for Tara in his own way for a while. Maybe one day he would, but not yet.

Not today.

"And I'm frozen still
Unspoken still
Cos this is the saddest song I've got
The saddest song I've got..."


The End

You have reached the end of "The Saddest Song". This story is complete.

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