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Summary: Willow faces Xander - the flipside of "Makeshift Hero"

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > GeneralWildecateFR1335,152024,05919 Dec 037 Nov 06Yes

Looking On

Summary: Epilogue
Credits: The characters aren’t mine. The song is from The Calling “Wherever you will go”. Quotes are from Season Six “Tabula Rasa” “Seeing Red” “Two to Go” and “Grave”.

“I don't know, I just ... think we both need some ... I don't know, space. Oh, I can't believe I'm saying this.”
“Are you saying you're gonna leave me?”

The words resounded through her head as she watched Willow’s face fall. The hopelessness in her voice haunted Tara as she packed her clothes, her precious books, and herself into boxes and cases.

It had taken everything she had to walk out of the Summers’ house. Everything she had not to put her cases down and run back upstairs, wrapping her arms around Willow, telling her that she hadn’t meant it, that it wasn’t happening. But it was. It had. Tara felt the rape of her mind keenly - from the moment Glory had ripped her essence away from her, her mind, her thoughts, her feelings, her memories to when she discovered Willow had cast a spell on her. There was no difference except that she felt Willow’s betrayal a lot worse than Glory’s brutal and savage assault on her mind. How could she trust her now? After everything that had happened? Everything that had been said? And still, after all of this, the magic prevailed.

Tara was well aware of how it worked. You took and then you gave. And if you didn’t give willingly, the magic took, often more than it gave. She rarely risked herself now, only when she absolutely had to did she rely on the magic. Willow, she could see, was becoming addicted more and more. She had promised one week without magic, one week! That was all. She hadn’t even managed a day. Tara gritted her teeth and carried on unpacking her clothes in her dorm room. She could almost feel Willow watching her, smell her, hear her voice in her head. Tara shook her head a couple of times to clear the muzzy feeling she was getting and carried on unpacking. Miss Kitty mewed a couple of times, confused as to where she was and why there were only two of them. Tara paused for a moment and ran her hand down Miss Kitty’s soft furry back and then the long held back tears came.

So lately, been wondering
Who will be there to take my place
When I'm gone you'll need love to light the shadows on your face
If a great wave shall fall and fall upon us all
Then between the sand and stone, could you make it on your own
If I could, then I would,
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low, I'll go wherever you will go

Death is never expected. Sometimes death comes slowly, with bad news, with drawn out medical tests, with the final relief of a last breath taken as the pain is ended. And sometimes death is fast, meaningless, uncaring and confusing. Like Joyce. Like me.

I don’t remember much. The sound of the shot perhaps, a sharp pain, numbness and then . . . Willow - I can hear her voice faintly, begging, sobbing . . “Tara? Come, on baby. Get up. Please. Tara...”

But I can’t. It’s too much. The blood sings in my ears as I struggle to breathe in and out and then the singing is too loud. Her anger is immense, her desire for revenge unbelievable. The others told me that she took Glory on when she found out what Glory had done. The stupidity of that girl scares me sometimes. The power that she has with the emotions she has were never a good combination and now she’s back where she started.

I can watch from here. Wherever here is. Somewhere warm. Somewhere safe. I wonder briefly if this is where Buffy was. I find myself pleading with Willow not to follow the path she’s following. I watch as she tries to destroy her friends, her family, Giles, Buffy, Dawnie, Xander. All those whom she loves, all those who love her and me and who can’t get close. All those who never grasped just how powerful my Willow was. Giles, I think, always knew. He always prayed that she would never end up this way - perhaps he sees something of himself in her. I find it terrifying when I see her like this.

You don’t just see the physical, you see the clouds of black swirling around her, the anger, the hate, the desire for revenge all glowing, all attracting evil, all dragging her down. I can see Buffy and Dawn, white, gold, ivory - warriors for good. I see Giles - he shimmers in silver with streaks of black, a remnant perhaps of his wilder days. And Xander. Brave, strong, reckless. Almost as stupid in fact as Willow. In my more insecure times I often wonder what happened with those two. We never talked about but you can tell there is something there. A deep abiding love. I can hear him talking to her....

“I love you. I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love scary veiny Willow. So if I'm going out, it's here. You wanna kill the world you start with me. I've earned that.”

And the whole known universe holds its breath and watches love break down hate. He says it over and over “I love you” and still she fights, still she struggles. But its working, the turbulent storm around her eases, through black to grey and fades to deep deep blue. I long to reach out to her, my love, my life but the rift is too wide. Xander holds her and they cry.

And maybe, I'll find out
A way to make it back someday
To watch you, to guide you, through the darkest of your days
If a great wave shall fall and fall upon us all
Then I hope there's someone out there
Who can bring me back to you

And life does go on. For her anyway. Not for me. I watch them sometimes playing on the beach, sitting quietly at home. Lots of things have changed. I see Dawn and Buffy training together, Buffy patiently teaching her sister not just how to defend herself, but how to be a woman. I see Anya and Xander softening towards each other - his heroic gesture has broken the shell around her heart and she’s ready to see him again as someone who loves her.

And I see my Willow.

I know now, just quite how,
My life and love may still go on
In your heart, in your mind, I'll stay with you for all of time

The End

You have reached the end of "Torment". This story is complete.

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