Title: Something to Remember Me By
Author: Angel’s Kuuipo
Disclaimer: Not mine, never have been, never will be…damn it.
Spoilers/Warnings: Post Chosen for BtVS; pre-series for Leverage. Hankie Warning! Character death. I made myself cry writing this, so please be careful.
Prompt: Only memories are left for me to hold.
Author’s Note: Written for the wonderful Snogged’s birthday. I hope you’ve had a tripendicular day, m’dear! I also hope you like this little angst-fest. Thanks be to Elisabeth for the beta.
Written: May 24, 2010
Word Count: 988
Summary: He didn’t understand why she said it at the time.
“Something to remember me by,” Willow said as she pressed a wrapped package into my hand.
I gave her a bemused smile. “It’s not like I’m gonna be gone all that long, darlin’. A month tops and then I’ll come back.”
She gave me a sad smile and leaned up to kiss me. I returned it wholeheartedly, but I was starting to worry. I had to go, but this felt all wrong. Willow broke the kiss and cupped my face with her hand.
“Goodbye, Eliot. Be safe,” she murmured before walking away.
“Willow!” I called after her, but she didn’t look back. That felt more like a real goodbye than a good-luck-on-the-job-and-I’ll-see-you-soon goodbye. I wanted to chase her down and demand explanations, but I had to go. I barely made it to my gate before the door shut.
After I got settled into my seat I looked at the package she’d given me. I was almost afraid to open it, which was ridiculous. Willow would never do anything to harm me and besides, she said it was to remember her by. I still didn’t understand that, because I had every intention of coming back after this job was done. Hell with it. I unwrapped it and found a framed photograph of the two of us. I smiled as I looked at it.
I remember when Xander took it. It was one of the few times I got to meet her friends. It was some big to-do at the Sunnydale Crater. Seemed like a strange place for a get-together, but once Willow had explained that it was a reunion of the survivors it made a lot more sense. I was honored that she wanted to include me.
I traced her smiling face and remembered how I was leaning back against a tree with her sitting between my legs and my arms were wrapped around her. She was laughing as I nibbled on her neck. Xander had called out and we both looked up just as he took the snap. It had been a really good day.
After I got to Prague I took the picture out of the frame and put it with my exit stash. If something went wrong on the job- which it shouldn’t, but I couldn’t be too careful- I wanted to make sure I’d get out with it.
The job went off without a hitch and I headed back to Brazil. I’d tried calling Willow to let her know I was on my way back, but I didn’t get any answer. I wasn’t too worried. It wasn’t the first time we’d been out of contact with each other. The plane landed and I went straight to the hacienda we shared with the group of girls she looked after.
It was empty.
I don’t mean there wasn’t anyone home; I mean the place was deserted. Completely cleaned out.
I dropped my bag on the floor and followed it. This was the last thing I expected. After a while I got the picture she gave me out of my bag and just stared at it, trying to figure out what had happened. Our lives weren’t perfect, but I thought what we had was good. It just didn’t make any sense. I was about to put the photo back when I looked on the back and found writing that hadn’t been there before.
I blinked a couple of times and the words finally started to make sense.Eliot,
Hoo boy. This is so hard for me to write, but I have to tell you at least a little bit of what happened. If you’re reading this, then it means that I’m dead. I’m not sure how I died, kind of glad about that really, because I might not have been able to do what I needed to if I had known beforehand. I do hope it was a good death, though. If any of the others made it out one of them will try to contact you. Don’t blame them. We all fought hard and if the world is still turning and not overrun with demons then it means we won and that’s of the good. Right?
I know I didn’t involve you in my work, but you knew enough about what we did. I just hope you’ll understand why I didn’t tell you that we had a fight coming up. I wanted you out of it, baby. I wanted to go into this battle knowing that you were as safe as I could make you. Oh, I know full well that what you do is dangerous, but you can more than hold your own and I didn’t want you worrying about me while you were working.
That sounds kinda pathetic doesn’t it? You’re probably going to be really mad at me for taking that choice away from you. I understand, even expect it. I just hope that someday you can forgive me and look back on our time together as something good.
You have so much ahead of you. I wish I could have been a part of it.
I love you, Eliot Spencer, and I am so glad to have met you.
The words blurred and I blinked, only then realizing that I was crying. I stopped out of sheer shock. I honestly can’t remember the last time I cried.
Willow was dead. My beautiful, powerful witch was dead and I don’t even know how it happened. Oh, I’m gonna be mad alright- hell, I’ll be furious- but right now I just feel numb. I don’t know that I want to know how she died or if there are any survivors. I don’t know anything right now.
I lay down and cradled the photo to my chest. Something to remember me by.
The paper was cold comfort, but it was something, especially now when memories were all that was left for me to hold.