I don’t own Buffy and I don’t own CSI. I certainly don’t own them when they’re put together.AN:
AFTLOAC is giving me no end of trouble so I've been taking tiny breaks when I can't write for it and giving FFA's a try.
Not sure if they gave Tara's mother a name but if they did, I don’t remember it so I renamed her.
Aubrey: elf or magical being, power
"Gil, who's this?" Catherine picked up the framed photo of a pretty young women smiling shyly at the camera.
Gil Grissom turned to look at what Catherine had picked up and a flash of pain went through him. "My niece."
"I didn't know you had any siblings." Catherine frowned at the photo.
Gil sighed. "She wasn't related to me by blood but by choice. We grew up together. She married young and only called on holidays and birthdays - special days she called them."
"You don't sound as though you approve." Catherine stated, eyebrow raised
"I didn't. The man she married never treated her right. Aubrey was a free spirit and she took after her name. Even at a young age she always reminded me of a one of those powerful old psychics." Gil smiled as he remembered her. "She always said she had magical powers." A frown marred his face. "Her husband never approved. He and his family were old fashioned. Anything different was viewed as bad and a woman who said she was a witch? Well, she had to be a demon of some kind but Aubrey loved him and she was as stubborn as they came."
"Abuse?" Catherine asked concerned. She was trying not to push. Grissom never opened up this much and she was afraid if she said something wrong he'd close up again.
"Nothing anyone could prove."
The look on his face told her what Gil believed. "You think there was."
Gil gave another sigh, leaning back on the desk chair. "Yeah, she changed once she married him. She got that look in her eyes that the abuse victims get. She'd always been bold and brass and in your face but that spark went out one year at a time. It started to come back with the birth of her son but ..." Grissom gave a shake of his head.
"The father. He got to him right away, didn't he?" Catherine asked even though she already knew. If it ran in the family then he'd take the son and teach him all the prejudices from the cradle. It was how abuse like that worked.
"Yes but then, then there was Tara." He gave a nod toward the framed photo. "Aubrey loved her to pieces. She was different, so much like Aubrey and they wore her down but Aubrey taught her everything she knew. She may have been shy but there was a strength hidden in Tara. Once Aubrey died Tara left."
"They just let her leave?" Catherine asked in disbelief.
"Oh no. They came after her but Tara had found friends." Gil smiled. "They sent them away with their tails tucked."
Catherine gave a cajoling smile. "You should take a day off and visit her." With that piece of advice, Catherine took her leave.
"Yeah, I just might." Gil said softly.
Gil walked into the cemetery with a handful of flowers to see someone already at the headstone. He stayed back, giving her privacy but took a moment to study her. If his guess was correct this had been Tara's girlfriend, Willow and from the look on Willow's face, it had been the kind of love that could last lifetimes.
Once the woman had finished she stood, brushing off her skirt and turned to leave.
Willow gave a gasp at seeing someone behind her. "Oh goddess. You scared me."
"I'm sorry." Grissom said with a polite smile.
Willow turned to look at the grave before turning back around, connections sparking in her mind. "Did you know her?"
"Yes, she was my niece." Gil explained.
Willow shook her head. "I'm sorry. I didn't know. She never talked much about her family." Willow swallowed hard, feeling tears well in her eyes but she forced them down with a deep breath. "Willow Rosenberg." She held out her hand, which was taken and shook with just the right amount of force.
A glance to where she left Xander shows him shifting, with all that's going on in town they'd all be a bit anxious and someone coming into town at this time probably meant bad things to him.
"I, um, I gotta go." willow patted the pockets of her skirt hoping she had a pen but finding none. "I'd give you my number but I don't have a pen."
Gil, as an investigator he knew how important remembering details was, grabbed one of the pens he always kept in his pocket. He pulled out the receipt for the flowers as well, handing them both over. He got a short smile as she scribbled her number. "Give me a call if you need anything and ... the town is pretty rough after dark so maybe you shouldn't stick around too long."
"I'll keep that in mind." He gave her hand a quick squeeze as he took the paper. "Take care of yourself."
"You too." With that, Willow hurried toward Xander and they disappeared into the trees.
Grissom knelt before the gravestone, which read Tara Maclay - Oct. 16, 1980 ~ May 7, 2002.
He placed the flowers gently on the ground, fingers sliding along the stone in the way he’d watched Willow’s hand trace a moment ago.
"I'm sorry it took so long ..."Fin
Anyone want to take over and write the Sunnydale collapse? I don't think Grissom would just forget all about Willow - Tara loved her after all. I bet he'd try to find her and his oh-so-loyal team would follow him. Maybe add in a dash of demons and magic? It be great to see them bubble through trying to find logical, scientific explanations for it.