AND SO IT BEGINS
San Francisco: December 2004
Slowly I open my eyes. The first rays of the sun are starting to fill the room. I stretch my hand across the bed and touch warm, soft skin. Careful of not waking her up I get out off bed. It's still early, but today is a very special day, not only for being almost Christmas Day, but five years ago today I finally found my life-long partner, the One. After looking everywhere I hadn't realised it was closer to me than I ever thought. Funny, isn't it? Is not that I was old and afraid of spending the rest of my life alone at the time. I was very young then, only 20 years old, but I felt that something was missing in my life. I needed to feel wanted, loved. I had my friends, the Scooby Gang, and I knew I would never be alone as long as I had them with me. But that wasn't it, no. It was much more.
All the relationships I had ended in disaster. First Angel, then Parker and finally Riley. I will always remember Angel as my first love. I thought I was in love with him at the time, but after our disastrous night together and the coming of Angelus, I wondered if what I felt was really love or simply desire. After his transformation I felt guilty. Because of me Willow was laying in hospital badly hurt. I did the only thing I thought I could do, I ran away thinking it would be the solution to my problems. But I soon saw that I didn't want that. Back to my friends, to Sunnydale, to her. Then Angel came back and a faint hope of things being right again lighted my heart. But we both new it could never be. He left after the Ascension, and it broke my heart. A new year, College and Parker. He was nice and I even thought he could be the one to put my mind at rest. It didn't. After getting what he wanted from me he just left me. I was devastated.
And she was there for me, as she had always been, offering me her support and unconditional friendship and love, though I didn't see how she felt at the time.
And finally Riley. Testosterone Rambo Riley. I knew it wouldn't work, but he was sweet or so I thought. How wrong I was! After finding out his involvement with The Initiative and Adam everything came crumbling down. But by then I had started to realise that the one I was looking for was much closer to home than I had thought at first. My feelings for Willow had changed somehow. I don't know when it exactly happened, my guess is that they were always there, in the back of my mind. But I had enough complications in my life. I was the Slayer. I say I was 'cause after closing the Hellmouth for the last time there was no need for a Slayer anymore. Oh yes, there are still vampires around, and I keep slaying them if they cross my path, but it's not like the old times. We still patrol once a week, but the vast amount of undead, demons and other assorted dangers are simply not there, not any more.
I'm starting to lose the plot. I'm sitting in the kitchen of our apartment overlooking the bay. I'm not sure I want to recall those memories again, but after five years of avoiding them, it's time to put pen to paper. If you think they are painful you are right. They are. Not because of the outcome, but because of the anguish and fear they caused at the time. Not only for me, but for Willow, especially for her. Last night we both decided it was time to put them down. Someone said once that the best way of getting rid of our own demons is to write about them. I'm following their advice. Last night Willow gave me a little notebook. It was her diary from that week. It was her that came up with the idea. She read it to me and we both couldn't help but cry together. Now I'll put my memories down together with hers. I won't change a word from her account of the facts. I hope that after this we both will be able to forget the hard times we went through.
December 1999. U.C. Sunnydale.
With a jump I sit up in bed. No classes today. Soon we'll be going home for Christmas. No that I like them too much. Since I became the Slayer I haven't had a nice and quiet holiday. Not that I've had a quiet year either. Adam has been the last one. A mix between human and monster with a computer for a brain. All together managed to destroy him. The most painful thing about it all was Riley's betrayal. Why didn't he tell me about his involvement with the Initiative? We have nothing in common. After that we broke up. Now I'm on my own again. Or am I?
I keep having these thoughts, feelings, about Willow. I don't know what to make of them really, and I don't think she would be very pleased about them. So the best thing is to brush them aside. They will pass. Or will they?
I hear her stirring in the bed. I turn round and look at her. Her red hair covering her face. She seems at peace. Slowly she opens her eyes.
"Good morning. Come on get up. We have to pack. Giles will be here in an hour to pick us up"
She just mumbles something and turns again in her bed. Seeing that she is not likely to get up soon I go to the bathroom and get a glass of water. Silently I approach the bed, but she's seen me and jumps out off it.
"What were you doing with that? You weren't going to do 'that', were you?"
I start laughing and she quickly leaves the room to go for a shower. Finally an hour later we are both ready. Giles is waiting for us at the parking lot. After putting our bags in the boot we head for home.
"Wills, what are you doing in the holidays?"
"Well, my parents are going away tomorrow, so I guess I'll be on my own. Oz and I...."
Suddenly she stops talking. I can see the pain in her eyes. They've broken up not long ago and I know how much she stills loves him. Immediately I feel something tighten in my stomach. No, it can be, but I think I'm jealous. After that we don't talk for a while.
Then I break the silence once more.
"Listen, you know you are more than welcome to spend Christmas with us. You know how much mom likes you." She turns to me, her eyes shining.
"I would love that. Are you sure your mom won't mind?''
"Of course not. It's settled then." I squeeze her hand smiling at her and she smiles at me. It's the first time I see her smile broadly for a long time.
First day of holidays. I hear Buffy waking up and moving around the room. I open my eyes and look at her. Gosh! she's so beautiful. I can't stop thinking about her. But I know she would never feel the same way I do. I really don't know what to do. I thought I was in love with Oz, and losing him has been devastating to say the least. But I realised long ago that the one I really loved was her. It has been there since the first minute I saw her, but I've come to the conclusion that if she knew she would run a mile and I don't want to lose her. Then Oz came along and I tried to forget about her. Needless to say I couldn't. I did love him, but was never in love with him. I know she's the one. But I'll never be able to tell her, and it hurts.
Sitting in Giles' car we are going back to Sunnydale. Buffy just invited me to spend Christmas with her. Oz and I had planned to spend it together since my parents will be away, but now I'm alone and I quickly accept her offer. She takes my hand and I can't stop all the sensations running through my body. Since she broke up with Riley I've been having this silly hope that maybe, just maybe, she feels the same. I know I'm wrong, but what can I do. I didn't choose to fall in love with my best friend. I don't think I'm gay, I just happen to be in love with my best female friend.
I know these holidays are gonna be hell. Just the thought of spending the holidays in her house is enough to set my pulse racing. I know we share a dorm, but somehow this is different.
Giles drops me at home. Tomorrow I'll be at Buffy's for the rest of the week. I have to do something about it, but I don't know if I have the courage.
Two days later I get a phone call from Riley. He wants to talk. I have mixed emotions. When I go back to the living room Willow is sitting there watching telly. She sees my worried face.
"Buff, is everything ok?"
"That was Riley on the phone. He wants to see me." I look at her expecting her to say something, but instead she just looks at me, her green eyes piercing mine. I see pain pass through them, fear, jealousy. Hold on a minute! Did I say jealousy? I must be mistaken. No way she feels the same way. Finally when she speaks her voice is somehow unsteady. She goes straight into babble mode.
"I don't think...I mean.... Do you still..." It seems she needs all her strength to let the words out. "Do you still.....love him?" She finally manages to say.
"I don't know Willow."
"Are you going to see him?"
"He's coming here in half hour." I stare at her and see her expression flinch just a fraction.
Buffy's been on the phone with Riley. He'll be here soon. I know she still loves him, though she says she doesn't know. All my hopes are fading fast. I just can't take it anymore. We've been sleeping in her bed and I can't honestly say I've been sleeping much. How can I when I just want to hold her and love her. This is becoming too much. I need to get out. I make an excuse about having to check my house and leave. It's nearly sunset.
Willow just left. She said she's going to check on her house, but something tells me there is more to it than that. Riley is here. We sit in the living room. Mom is out so we are not likely to be interrupted.
"Buffy, I just wanted to say good bye."
"Are you leaving?"
"Yeah. I got a job offer in New York and I'm gonna take it. Listen, I'm sorry it didn't work, I...."
"It's okay. I'm sorry too. I just guess we should have been more honest with each other."
"Yeah, I guess so, but it wasn't only that. I knew since the beginning I had a very strong contender."
"Oh? Who are you talking about?"
"You don't know?"
I look at him and really don't have a clue. He can't be talking about Angel. I never told him. "Look, I really don't know. Explain."
"I have to go now. Look inside yourself. You'll find the answer." Slowly he stands up. I walk him to the door, still puzzled. But I know is no use asking him again. We are standing outside. It's dark and I have to patrol. Before he leaves he kisses me. A good bye kiss.
"Riley, we are going to the Bronze later on. If you wanna join us you are welcome."
"Thank you, but I need to pack. Have fun, and look after yourself."
"I will, thanks"
I go back inside. I can't say I'm upset, perhaps a bit sad. After all we fought together against Adam. Oh, well. I have to get ready. Willow is taking a long time to come back. Well, she knows about the Bronze. I'm sure I'll see her later.
I'm standing in front of her house. I just needed some fresh air to clear my mind. Riley and Buffy are outside the house. They are talking but I can't hear what they are saying. I don't want them to see me so I hide behind a tree. I'm looking at them when I see them kissing. Suddenly I feel like my heart is breaking to pieces. I want to scream, but instead I just stand there, not knowing what to do. After a while I see her leaving the house. It's patrol night. I know I should get back to the house. We are meeting the rest at the Bronze later, but I can't face it. I can't face her. I know I will just start crying and the last thing I want to do is upset her. I start walking away. I can't think clearly. I just need to get out.
The patrol is really boring. Just a couple of she-vamps, and they couldn't even put up a decent fight! God, where are the old nasties?. I just have another cemetery to check and then I'll be going to the Bronze. Xander and Anya will be there, and even Cordy. That's gonna be interesting. I wonder what Anya would do to her if she still had her powers. Well, good thing she doesn't!
I keep thinking about what Riley said. I just can't figure it out. Who was he talking about? It can't be Angel, neither Parker. That worries me. So I have a secret admirer and I don't have a clue who he is. I'm also worried about Willow. I know there is something wrong with her, but every time I ask her she always tells me the same story, Oz. I don't know why I don't buy it. Now that I think about it, why was she hurt when I said Riley was coming?
Stopping in my tracks I realise what I saw in her eyes. She was jealous! My God! No, it can't be. I must be kidding myself. Shaking my head I keep on walking, but the idea keeps coming back. Suddenly I can see it all. The hurt look in her eyes when I started going out with him, how she avoided the conversation every time I talked about him, even when I was with Angel. There was something there, in her eyes. Willow is in love with me! But you see, the funny thing is that I think I'm in love with her too. I need to talk with her. We need to clear this. I know I haven't finished my patrol, but sod it. I can't be bothered tonight. And at this rate I soon won't have any vampire to slay
Two hours later.
We are in the Bronze. Xander and Anya are dancing. Cordy is talking about L.A., but I don't really hear her. I'm thinking about Willow. She still isn't here and I'm really worried about her. Now I'm certain about her feelings, and I'm sure about mine too. I should be scared, but instead I know everything will be all right, if I have a chance of talking to her, that's it. Xander slaps me on the back and brings me back to earth.
"Hey Buff! What's with that face. You ok?"
"Yeah, fine. Just a bit tired."
"Hey, where is Willow?. I thought she was coming tonight."
"So did I. Listen I'm going home. I'm really tired. I'll see you tomorrow."
I leave the bronze and start running back home. I don't like this at all. Where is she? I thought she was going to join us, but instead, she hasn't shown up. Something tells me things are not as they should be.
I don't know for how long I've been walking, I just know I needed to get out, put some order into my thoughts and see what to do. I have two options, I could go back to her and act like nothing happened, or I could just wait until after the holidays and transfer my credits to UCLA. Whatever I do I'll have to explain my absence from the Bronze tonight, and that's something I'm not looking forward to. When I lift my head I realise I am close to the North Cemetery. I'm not scared. Buffy has probably been here already. It is time to go back home. A noise at my back makes me stop in my tracks. I turn around slowly and scan the area. Nothing in sight. Oh well. I'm heading towards home when I hear it again. Then from nowhere two she-vamps jump in front of me.
"Well, look what we got here. Shall we eat her first, or shall we have some fun and then eat her slowly?"
"Look, I have no time for this." I say in what I hope is a firm and scary voice. They just look at me and start laughing. They are very close and I see that I can't outrun them. I start to walk back and suddenly I feel a blow to my head. Then nothing.
I'm panting and almost out off breath when I get back. The lights are on, good. It means she's back. When I enter the living room I only see mom reading.
"Hey honey. How are you?"
"Fine. Mom, is Willow upstairs?"
"No. I thought she was with you."
Seeing my worried face mom stands up.
"Buffy, what's wrong?"
"What's the time?"
My heart jumps and misses a beat. "It's been almost five hours."
"Five hours since what?"
"Since Willow left." Mom is staring at me and I can see she's worried now.
"Tell me, what's going on?"
"I don't know. She's been acting very strange lately. We need to call Giles." I run to the phone when mom stops me. I don't turn to her 'cause I don't want her to see the tears forming in my eyes. She smoothly turns me around.
"Buffy, what's wrong?"
There is a long silence and then I start crying. "If anything happens to her I'll never forgive myself" I say between sobs. No, nothing can happen, not to her! Suddenly I can see very clearly. She's always been there, giving me her strength, her inner peace, her friendship, her love. She's always been in love with me and so have I. She's the only one who won't judge me. Who will listen to me. She's the only one I can really be myself with. The only one with whom I'm really happy. She is the One. The one I've been looking for. And it dawns on me what Riley said. She was the contender, he knew, and he also knew how I felt all along. Well, I've looked inside myself and I've found the answer. Now I have to find her, and if I lose my life for saving her, I'll gladly do it. For her, for the One.
"Honey, Giles is on the phone." Mom disturbs my thoughts. I pick the phone up.
- Buffy, are you ok?, anything happened in patrol?, are you......?
I cut him in midsentence.
- Giles, is Willow there?
- No. I thought....I'll be there in ten minutes. I'll call the rest.
Putting the phone down I start trembling. Mom has to hold me and take me to the sofa.
"Buffy, I'm sure she's ok."
"How do you know? I'm the Slayer mom. If anything happens to her I......I...don't think I'll be able to live with it"
"I understand, but..."
"But nothing. Don't say you understand, 'cause you don't!" At this time tears are pouring down and my speech is blurred
"I do, Buffy. I know how you feel about each other."
I lift my head and look straight into her eyes. I try to speak, but if I do I'm sure I'll go into babble mode, so I take a deep breath and try to calm down.
"What do...do you....mean?"
"I knew for a long time now that you were in love with each other. It was obvious."
I'm dumbstruck. I really don't know what to say. Thank God the door saves me. Mom opens and in come Giles and the rest of the gang. Concern plain in their faces.
"Buffy what happens?"
"I don't know Giles. I suggest we search in all the known places."
"Ok. I got my weapons with me. Xander, you and Anya go to the Mansion. We'll check the cemeteries. Cordelia, you stay with Joyce. We'll meet back here."
Xander and Anya take Gile's weapons with them and leave the house. I'm about to go for mine when mom brings them to me. We go to Sunnydale Cemetery first. Along the way Giles keeps staring at me.
"You love her, don't you?"
"And she does too." I know it's not a question, but a statement.
"How the hell do you know?"
"Buffy, I know. We all do, even your mother."
I'm surprised at this, but I don't say a word. Well, much better. Something less to deal with lately. We are inside, but everything is dead quiet.
I don't know where I am. It's dark and I can hardly see. My head is hurting and when I try to reach the place where I got the blow, I realise I've been tied up. Soon my eyes get use to the darkness. In the distance I can see a torch and what looks like a door. I can't move though I try. I try to roll on the floor, but something is stopping me, and I've no idea what can it be. It's cold and very humid, and there is a funny smell around. The sewer! That's where I am. I try to draw a mental map of the sewers, but I can hardly put two thoughts together, let alone think!
I could try a spell, but I'm not mentally up to it. Suddenly I hear voices down the passage and I pretend to be unconscious.
"What are we gonna do with her?"
I feel someone pouring water over me and I open my eyes.
"Good, she's awake."
I look up and see deep dark eyes looking at me. It's one of the she-vamps from the cemetery. Another one is standing behind her. They are both dressed in black leather from tip to toe.
"Listen little girl, you know what's coming. But let's say we don't like to hurry things. Hope you are comfortable!"
She starts laughing and her laugh sends shivers down my spine. I really don't know how I'm gonna get out off this one. With this they both leave the room. If I want to try a spell it has to be now. I close my eyes and concentrate. I finally manage to undo the straps. Finally I'm free. I stand up and take a little torch from my jacket. The beam lights the room. It's more a cell than a room. A steel door stands at the end of it. I try to open it, but it's locked from the outside. I look at the ceiling and see water dripping to the walls. I check my watch and see it's almost dawn. With a bit of luck they'll leave me alone until tonight. I say a prayer and swear for all the things I hold dear that if I ever get out off this one alive, I'll tell Buffy about my feelings for her. After that, well I don't know.
Back at the house I start to despair. It's almost daylight and we haven't found a damn thing! My brain is overloaded and I just run in automatic. I'm sitting on the couch staring at the wall. Mom is in the kitchen making hot drinks for us. Giles hasn't said a word since we came back almost an hour ago. Xander, Cordelia and Anya are silent too. The strain is obvious in my face. Dark circles under my eyes are proof enough of how tired I feel. I know I should get some sleep, we all should, but sleeping is the last thing in my mind right now. I keep blaming myself for it. If only I had been more.....I can't form the thought. I just can't think.
I can't stand it any more so I stand up and start pacing up and down the room.
"Buffy, did anything happen in patrol you didn't tell me about?"
Gile's words make me jump. I turn to look at him.
"No, nothing. Only two she-vamps I staked last night."
"Do you remember anything in particular about them?"
I have to concentrate hard to remember them.
"The only thing is that they were clad in black leather from head to toe. Apart from that, no." Giles stands up and goes to the door.
"Ok, it's not much but I'll see what I can find. Xander?"
"Yes, of course." They all stand up and prepare to leave. Xander comes to me and gives me a hug.
"Don't worry Buff, we'll find her." After this they leave. Mom comes in with a mug of hot cocoa. I just take it and go back to the couch. She sits beside me.
"You know, Xander is right. We'll find her."
"I know mom, I'm not worried about that. What if......" I can't finish the thought. It's too scary to think about that. I don't want even to imagine it. Slowly I feel my eyes closing. I try to fight it, but I'm so tired I just can't any more. Soon I'm asleep.
Somehow I must have fallen asleep. I start shivering. I look at my watch again. I can't believe it's almost dark. There is no way in hell I've been sleeping for that long. I need to think, to concentrate, but there isn't much I can do. I've already tried to open the door, but I haven't been able to do it. I sit back on the floor and think about Buffy. I wonder what is she doing now. She must be going crazy. It's all my fault. I should have told her how I feel. I'm a coward. If I'd had the courage to talk to her nothing of this would ever happened. I'm afraid, not of dying, that never scared me. I'm afraid of not seeing her again, of leaving this world without having the chance of telling her. Tears start forming in my eyes and though I try to stop them they just keep coming. Soon I'm crying. I lift my knees and put my head between them.
I'm sleeping when the doorbell wakes me up. I wait for mom to open the door, but I think she's gone out. I get up and go to open. When I do Willow is outside. Her green eyes piercing mine, her lips smiling at me. I just go to her and hold her tight.
"Oh Wills! I was so scared!"
"I'm fine. I'm sorry I disappeared like that, I just...."
I don't let her finish. Pulling back enough to face her, I kiss her. A soft, long, warm kiss. At first she stiffens, but then she returns it. After what seems an eternity I pull back to recover my breath. I look at her and she smiles at me. Then I see them. Her face changes into a demon and her fangs shine in the moonlight. I can't move, I try to escape, but I'm nailed to the ground. She approaches me slowly and I scream. NOOO!!!
I jump off the couch. Mom is there, her hand on my shoulder. I look at her and realise I was dreaming. She holds me tight.
"Buffy, what is it?"
"Willow, I saw her, in my dream. She....she was a ......" I can't finish the sentence and fall to the floor. Mom picks me up.
"Come on, honey. It was just a nightmare." I'm crying my eyes out. "Mom, she was a vampire. I've failed her."
"No, you haven't."
She looks at me tenderly and smiles. I half smile at her.
"Giles rung. He said he hasn't found anything relevant, but....."
She can't finish her sentence. The doorbell is ringing. She goes and opens the door. I hear her talking with someone and go to see. Spike!
"What are you doing here?"
"Hey sister, aren't you glad to see me?" The look I give him is enough.
"Ok, I guess not."
"What do you want?"
"Information in exchange for a drink."
I quickly rush him inside the house.
"I don't have any blood, if that's what you are after."
"Oh no, I rather have a whiskey."
Mom rushes to the kitchen and brings a glass and a bottle for him. He gulps it down and asks for a second one. After his third I start to get impatient with him.
"Come on Spike, spill the beans."
"Oh, that." He looks me in the eye, but I don't know what he sees there because he just moves back a fraction. He seems scared of me. Nothing strange there. He knows I could stake him in a second if I wanted to.
"All right. I know where your precious Red is."
"Last night I was wandering round the North Cemetery. I saw her walking, by the way, why was she crying?"
The North Cemetery! It just strikes me that I skipped it during patrol. It's all my fault! If I had checked there nothing of this would ever happened. I'll never forgive myself for it!. Then I realise Spike is looking at me with a grin on his face. He's seen the fear in my eyes. I compose myself and growl at him.
"Ok. Three she-vamps took her. Oh, don't worry, she's not dead, as far as I know. They took her to the sewers close to the old school."
"How do I know you are not lying?"
"You don't. You have to trust me on this one sister. You see, it's very simple. I wanna stay alive, and you want to kill me. With this bloody chip I can't harm anyone, so I better side with the good guys. As someone said once, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
"Very well, but if this is a trap I swear I'll hunt you down and kill you even if it is the last thing I do in my life." He just sits back and smiles. He's almost drunk by now. Slowly he gets up and heads to the door, but I stop him and sit him down again.
"Oh no. You are not going anywhere. I don't trust you." Quickly I tie him up to a chair. He is serious now and starts shouting at me. Clearly he's not enjoying himself anymore. I put a gag on his mouth and proceed to call Giles.
I don't know for how long I've been sitting like this but suddenly I hear noises outside the door. My body tenses in anticipation. When the door opens I see the two vamps from early on and another one, taller and meaner. She slowly approaches me and flashes her fangs at me. I stand up and face her. If I'm gonna die, at least I'll be brave.
"You don't scare me you know." I tell her trying to stop my voice from quivering. She tips her head back and laughs.
"I see you managed to untie yourself. Impressive, very impressive. But it won't do any good."
With a move of her head the other two approach me and take me to the far side of the room. They chain me to the wall. The leader stands before me and slowly I see her drawing a dagger from her belt. Now the room is lighter. Two torches hung at either side of me and I can clearly see all that's going on.
She slowly takes the blade to my face. I flinch and try to move but to no avail. She is smiling at me while the edge slowly touches my cheek. I tense my muscles expecting her to cut me, but instead she follows the arch of my jaw and points the knife to my neck. I start shaking and tears start falling from my eyes. Now I'm scared. I feel the blade piercing my neck very slowly.
This is it I think. Mentally I say my good byes and expect to die quickly, but I know I won't be that lucky. I close my eyes tightly expecting her to push the blade all the way in. Instead she draws a bit of blood. I open my eyes again and see her licking the blade. Then she moves it all the way down to my chest.
The knife is very cold. My reaction is to move, to scream, but I just stay still, paralysed by fear. My eyes are wide open by now. I try to close them, try not see what she's doing, but they won't respond to my commands.
She traces the curve of my breasts with the edge. I want to plead with her, but I can't form any word. After what it seems like an eternity she brings the blade back to my face and with a quick movement she cuts my left cheek. Blood is pouring freely from it now and she licks it, the pleasure obvious in her expression. When I expect her to go for the final kill, she suddenly steps back and leaves the room.
I'm alone again and give free reign to my emotions. I scream and cry and start shaking. Thankfully the torches are still here.
It's been an hour since they left and I don't know if they are coming back. The blood has dried out on my face. I just wish I could die fast.
The gang is already here. I've explained the situation to Giles on the phone and he has the prints for the sewers with him. While waiting for them I ask Spike the exact location of the place. He says they are in an old cellar just across the school. If we can get there without them seeing us we might stand a good chance.
We put all the weapons in Giles' car. Xander and Anya are with us. Cordelia is at home with a crossbow pointed at Spike in case he tries to escape.
Soon we arrive at the old school. The best place to go in is one block from the school. We all pray they won't see us. Xander and Anya stay in the car with the engine running in case we need to get away quickly.
We reach the entrance and Giles looks at me. I nod at him and we both enter the sewer.
"According to the prints we should go straight forward and take the second turn on the left." Giles says in a low voice. We start walking in silence. The flash lights pointing the way. I just pray we are not too late. If I can't save her I don't know what I'll do. And if she is one of them now.....The thought makes me shudder. I don't think I'll be able to kill her, not her. I'd rather let her kill me than have to stake her.
When we reach the fork we turn left. Abruptly I stop making Giles bump into me. My slayer senses are alert now. I know they are very close. I can feel them. I look at Giles and he knows. He prepares the bow and I draw my sword. Mr. Pointy is in my pocket and I touch it to reassure myself. We come to a big room with a torch at one side. Suddenly I hear noises coming from the right. Giles has heard them too and motions me to hide behind an open door while he hides behind a table. Then I see them coming in. Three of them in total. All of them dressed in black leather. I see Giles aiming the bow at the first one. He fires and the she-vamp becomes dust in seconds. The other two are too startled to realise what's going on. When they do I'm already on them.
Kicking one of them in the face I aim for the head and cut it with the sword, but the last one is faster and punches me sending me flying across the room. Giles is charging the bow when I hear someone screaming in the other room. With a nod Giles tells me to go. I run to the door and start undoing the locks.
I scream with all my strength "Hold on Willow, I'm here!"
I'm about to faint from fear and tiredness when I hear noises in the other room. It sounds like someone is fighting. I lift my head and realise it's Buffy. I scream with all my might when I hear her voice. I don't know what she's saying, but I don't care. I try to move yanking my feet and hands, trying to get rid of the chains. My wrists and ankles are bleeding from the effort. I can see the keys on the table. Suddenly the door opens and Buffy comes rushing in. I can't help it and I start crying.
I finally manage to open the door. Giles is on a one to one fight with the leader. I run into the room and see Willow chained to the wall. I see the keys on the table and I'm about to get them when the vamp kicks me and I fall to the floor loosing grip on my sword. I roll over and get Mr. Pointy from my pocket. She comes for me and is on top of me, pinning me to the floor. With a kick from my leg I send her down. I quickly grab the chance and jump on top of her. With a fast move I stake her and she turns to dust. Giles's face shows on the door. He is bleeding from one eyebrow, but otherwise he seems to be all right. I stand up and go to Willow. What I see horrifies and enrages me. I can see a cut in her left cheek, blood already dry and a piercing in her neck. I take the keys and quickly undo the locks. When I do Willow falls into my arms. Her wrists and ankles bloody from trying to get rid of the chains. I hold her tight and smooth her hair with my free hand. She's crying and so am I.
"Shhh. It's ok. It's over." I manage to say. She lifts her head and looks at me, and then I pull her close and kiss her, softly, tasting her sweet lips.
Buffy is about to get the keys when one of the vamps attacks her. I try to shout, to warn her but I don't hear any sound coming from my mouth. Swiftly and quickly Buffy dusts her and when she frees me I fall into her arms. She is saying something to me, but I can't understand what she says. I lift my head to hear her and suddenly she pulls me closer and kisses me. At first I don't react, but then I realise what she's doing and return the kiss. Her lips are warm, sweet, soft. We are both crying and I can taste her tears mixed with mine. Giles' voice brings me out off the kiss.
"I'm sorry to interrupt, but I think we should go."
Reluctantly Buffy turns to face him. Her arms are still wrapped around my waist. My strength is about to abandon me and I'm sure I'm gonna faint.
At first I'm afraid of Willow rejecting me, but after what it seems like ages she returns the kiss. The taste of her lips mingled with her tears sends a flow of emotions down my spine. I just want to hold her and kiss her and not let go. Suddenly Giles interrupts us and I realise where we are. We need to get away. I feel that Willow is about to give up. I lift her and put her on my back. She complains but I just keep on walking. Giles leads the way out off the sewers.
Buffy lifts me up and puts me on her back. I try to complain, but she just keeps on walking. I'm on the verge of exhaustion. I close my eyes and let her carry me out off there. I'm weak from fear and blood loss and I pass out.
When we get out off the sewer I see Willow has fainted. We are very close to the car. Xander sees us coming and opens the back door. We put Willow on the back and go straight home. Once we arrive I carry Willow to the sofa. I let Spike go without a word. He just looks at me and grins. Mom has brought hot cocoa for us and tea for Giles. I get some water for Willow and with a damp cloth I clean the blood from her body. I check her pulse. It's weak but steady. She'll be awake soon. After ten minutes Willow opens her eyes. I kneel beside her and take her hand. She looks at me and gives me a weak smile.
"Hey, how are you?" I say to her very softly while I stroke her red silky hair.
"Am I dreaming?"
"No. You are safe now."
Willow slowly sits up and looks at the rest. They are all smiling at her, relief clear in their faces now. Suddenly Cordelia yawns.
"Sorry!" Somehow Willow finds it funny and starts laughing. My heart jumps inside me with happiness and I join her. Soon we are all laughing. After an hour Giles and the gang leave the house.
I sit beside Willow and take her hand. Mom says good night and goes to bed. Finally we are alone. I look at Willow and our eyes lock. Very slowly I put my hand on the back of her neck and pull her close to me. Our foreheads touch and I see her smile. She slides her hands around my waist and leans forward. Soon her lips meet mine. My mouth parts and I let her in. Her tongue moves softly inside my mouth, exploring, teasing. I return her movements and soon the kiss increases a notch. I can feel the passion and heat growing in me. I want more. I want her. Reluctantly we break the kiss and I can see tears shining in her eyes.
"It's all right now."
"No, it's not." She says in an unsteady voice. She goes straight into babble mode.
"It's all my fault. If....if I.....I had the.....the courage of......of telling you how......how I feel......"
"I love you Willow." She stops babbling and looks at me.
"You do! I mean you do?"
"Yes, I do." She is smiling now, a broad smile.
I must have fainted 'cause when I open my eyes I see Buffy kneeling beside me and the gang looking anxiously at me. Buffy takes my hand and asks me how I feel. I think I'm dreaming.
"Am I dreaming?" I ask afraid of the answer.
"No. You are safe now." I sit up very slowly. I realise that Buffy has clean the blood from my body. Suddenly Cordelia yawns and I don't know why I find it funny and I laugh at it. I see Buffy smiling with relief and soon we are all laughing. Soon they all leave and Buffy's mom goes to bed.
Now we are alone. It's time to face the music. I'm afraid. I don't know what to say. Buffy sits beside me on the couch and takes my hand. She's so close to me! I can feel heat and desire pulling through my veins. Her hand slides to my neck and she pulls me closer. Our foreheads touch, her eyes locked into mine. I'm not sure what to do, but then I slide my hands around her waist and lean forward. Our lips meet and her mouth parts to let me in. I let my tongue do all the talking, exploring her mouth, gently tasting her. After a while we break the kiss. Tears start forming in my eyes again.
"It's all right now." She says while stroking my shoulders. I want to hold her, to love her. To explore every inch of her body over and over. But I know we have to talk. I try to speak but I go straight into babble mode.
"No, it's not." I say. "It's all my fault. If.....If I....I had the.....the courage of......of telling you how.....how I feel....."
"I love you Willow." She says. I stop babbling suddenly and look at her. I'm not quite sure I've heard her right.
"You do! I mean you do?" I have to ask her. She just nods at me.
"Yes I do." I smile broadly at her.
Willow is grinning broadly now. I know we have to talk before we take things further, but I just want to hold on to her and not let go. Suddenly I feel all the tiredness from the last two days and I decide it's better to go to bed. I stand up and take Willow's hand into mine. She looks at me confused.
"Come on, it's time to go upstairs."
She stands up and follows me. Once we are in my bedroom I close the door. I know mom won't disturb us. She knows the situation and it seems estrange to me that she hasn't said anything. I also know I'll need to talk with her about it. Things are changing very quickly and I wonder if I'm ready. But I know deep inside myself that this is what I've been looking for. Now that I've finally found her, I'm not gonna let her go. I turn around and face her. She is sitting on the bed looking at me. I put the desk lamp on and sit beside her.
For a few minutes we just sit there without talking, our hands entwined, her green eyes piercing mine. I feel desire rushing through my veins, but although I just want to make love to her I know I need to slow things down a little. Suddenly Willow speaks so low that I have to stretch my head to hear her.
I smile at her and gently stroke her cheek. She leans her head towards my hand searching for more contact.
"We need to talk." I say to her.
"I know. I...." She starts yawning in midsentence. "Sorry, I guess I'm tired."
"It's ok. Come on. Let's go to sleep." I stand up and move the covers back from the bed. I hear Willow getting change. I want to turn and look at her, but if I do I know we'll end up making love and we both need to rest. Willow comes to bed and gets in. I go to get change and when I return I see she's already fast asleep.
Being careful of not waking her up I lay down beside her. She moves to my side and wraps her arms around my waist. I just gaze at her face, peaceful now in her sleep. With my left hand I softly trace the wound in her cheek. I'm shaking with rage. I feel guilt tearing through my body. If only I'd checked the North Cemetery.......I know we've been very lucky. I just can't bring myself to think about what could have happened if I'd been too late. I blame myself for all this. I've failed her. I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive myself. Finally tiredness gets the better of me and I fall asleep.
I'm feeling very tired and I know we should go to bed, but I don't want to break the magic of this moment. It's seems Buffy has read my thoughts because she stands up and takes my hand. I'm a bit confused, but I follow her upstairs. We just sit on the bed and stare into each other's eyes, our hands laced together.
"Thank you." I say smiling at her. She caresses my cheek and automatically I stretch my head looking for more contact. My brain is overloaded and I can't think clearly anymore. I just want to love her, but I don't think I have any strength left.
"We need to talk." Buffy says. I know we have too. I start answering her when a yawn escapes my mouth.
"Sorry, I guess I'm tired." I say trying to stop yawning. Buffy doesn't seem to mind. I let her undo the bed and I get in. I try to keep awake, try to look at her, but I'm soon fast asleep.
I open my eyes and feel something warm against my body. At first I'm too startled and my gut reaction is to jump out off bed and face the intruder. Suddenly I remember everything and realise Willow is sleeping beside me. It's early in the morning, but I can hear mom in the kitchen. Without making any noise I try to get up, difficult task since Willow's head is resting on my chest and her hands are around my waist. I finally give up and just lay there enjoying the feeling of Willow's body so close to mine. I turn my head and place soft kisses on her temple, while gently pulling back strands of red silky hair from her face. She stirs up and open her eyes lazily.
"Hey. You slept ok?" I say smiling at her. She's startled and stiffens a bit before relaxing her grip on me. She sits up and looks at me.
"Wills, what is it?"
"For causing you so many troubles." I can see she's clearly worried.
"You didn't." I approach her slowly and brush her lips with my fingers. She closes her eyes. With my free hand I trace the cut on her cheek. She flinches slightly and opens her eyes.
"There is no need for you to apologise." I say in a husky voice. Carefully I place my lips on hers and kiss her gently. She gasps slightly and, after what seems an eternity, returns my kiss. I hear her moaning softly inside my mouth and I increase the rhythm. I feel her tongue seeking mine, going deeper and deeper. I slide my hands to her shoulders and pull her closer. Soon her hands are stroking my back, caressing my arms, playing with my hair. I moan and increase the kiss another notch. I can feel the passion boiling in my veins. Raw emotion and intense desire filling me. Suddenly I hear noises coming from the stairs and pull back. She looks at me surprised.
"Mom." I say in a whisper. She nods and I jump out off bed. There is a knock on the door.
"Come in." Mom's face shows behind the door.
"Good morning dears. Did you sleep ok?" We both nod at her and she just smiles. I can see a flick in her eyes and wonder what is she thinking.
"Breakfast is ready." She closes the door and I look at Willow. She is blushing and so am I.
"Come on. If we don't go downstairs now..." I don't need to finish the sentence. Willow jumps out off bed and we run to the kitchen.
When I open my eyes I can see Buffy is already awake. My head is on her chest and my arms around her waist. I sit up and look at her. I'm worried. I want to apologise. I wish I could take back time and erase the events of the last two days, but I don't know how.
"I....I'm sorry." I say knowing that it's not enough.
"What for?" She says in a soft voice.
"For causing you so many troubles." I manage to say without babbling.
"You didn't." She leans close to me. Her fingers caressing my lips softly. I slid my eyes close and let the sensation run over me.
She traces the cut on my cheek. I flinch a fraction and open my eyes. She's very close to me now. I can feel her hot breath on my face and I revel on the feeling.
"There is no need for you to apologise." She says leaning closer still. She put her lips on mine and kisses me gently. I groan slightly and return the kiss. Moaning softly I thrust my tongue deep inside her mouth. Heat is pulling through my body. Sensations I never thought would be possible running riot in my veins. I try to think, to recall a single moment when I've felt like this, but nobody, not even Oz, made me feel the way I do now.
She places her hands on my shoulders and pulls me closer. Our bodies are touching, our hands caressing, stroking, exploring. She moans inside my mouth and increases the kiss another notch. Suddenly she pulls back and I look at her confused for the sudden loss of contact.
"Mom." She whispers. I understand and she jumps out off bed. I try to compose myself a little, but I know I'm blushing. There is a knock on the door and Buffy's mom gets into the room. By now Buffy is standing next to the closet.
"Good morning dears. Did you sleep ok?" We nod at her a she smiles.
"Breakfast is ready." She leaves the room and Buffy looks at me. Her face is all red.
"Come on. If we don't go downstairs now...." I understand and get out off bed. We soon rush into the kitchen.
After breakfast we get dress and sit in the living room. Mom's gone out for the day. It's a beautiful day outside.
"Would you fancy a walk?" I ask Willow. She nods at me and we leave the house. Slowly, revelling in the warm sun, we make our way to the park. Sitting on a bench I turn to look at her. She's so beautiful! Her red hair is shining under the sun and her green eyes are bright. A beautiful smile shows on her face. Before I have any chance of saying anything she starts talking.
"I'm sorry I did what I did. I guess I was emotionally overloaded, and when I saw you and Riley kissing I just......couldn't.....bear it." She finally says.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"How could I? I mean, we've been best friends for a long time, but I just couldn't!" I look at her and move closer, taking her hand into mine.
"Wills," I start saying, but she doesn't let me finish.
"I'm scared. You are.....so...important to me. I...I don't.....know what I......would do if...if I lose you." she says finally. I can see tears starting to form in her eyes.
"Wills, you won't lose me. I love you. You are the centre of my universe, my light, my reason for fighting, for living. I'm not gonna let you go."
Willow looks at me smiling again.
"And Riley?" she questions me.
"It's over. It's been over for a while now." I know it is time for the big guns so before she asks me I tell her everything.
"Angel was my first love. He was special, but I'm not sure I was in love with him. I did love him, but what I felt has nothing to do with the way I feel for you. And Parker was a mistake." She's looking at me, her gaze piercing my eyes.
We walk to the park. It's a wonderful day, warm, sunny. Sitting in a bench I know it's time for the truth, for the feelings I've been hiding from everyone, including myself, to come out. I smile at her and draw courage from her eyes. Before she has a chance to speak I do.
"I'm sorry I did what I did." I say. "I guess I was emotionally overloaded, and when I saw you and Riley kissing I just.......couldn't....bear it." Understatement of the century!
"Why didn't you tell me?" she says. I look at her, trying to think, but it's seems my brain has deserted me and before I realise I'm talking again.
"How could I? I mean, we've been best friends for a long time, but I just couldn't!"
Without saying a word she moves closer and takes my hand. I swallow hard trying to fight the tears. She says my name and sends shivers all over my body. Before she has a chance of saying anything I keep on talking.
"I'm scared. You are.....so.......important to me. I.....I don't....know what I.....would do if....if I lose you." I finally say. I know I'm babbling again, but I just can't control it. Tears start to form in my eyes. I drop my head and stare at the floor. I know she told me she loves me, but I'm afraid.
"Wills, you won't lose me. I love you. You are the centre of my universe, my light, my reason for fighting, for living. I'm not gonna let you go."
I lift my head and look at her. Did she really say what I heard? A smile forms in my lips again. I don't want to ask her, but I need to know. Summoning all my courage I ask her.
"It's over. It's been over for a while now." I feel my heart jump with joy inside my chest. Before I ask anything else she keeps on talking.
"Angel was my first love. He was special, but I'm not sure I was in love with him. I did love him, but what I felt has nothing to do with the way I feel for you. And Parker was a mistake."
I'm happy beyond words. I want to shout, to jump, to cry, but I just sit there looking into her beatiful blue eyes. Now it's time for me to talk.
"Oz was my first love. I've never felt wanted before, not in that way. He was kind, sweet, but there was something missing. I did love him, but I wasn't in love with him. And Xander was a crush more than anything else." I look at Buffy and see a smile playing in her lips. I know we're in the park, but I feel an urgent need to kiss her. I lean forward and softly place a kiss on her lips. She just moans smoothly. When we pull away she just smiles at me.
"What I'm trying to say Buffy, is that I think I've been in love with you almost since we met. Actually I can't remember a time when I didn't feel this way."
"I know Wills, I know. So have I." She stand up and I look at her confused.
"Where are we going?" She gives me a wicked smile.
"Esspreso Pump?" I laugh and nod at her.
I can see her smiling at me. I can see her happiness reflected in her eyes. Then she tells me about Oz and Xander. I know how much Oz hurt her and I feel rage growing inside me, but I'm not gonna let him spoil this moment. Then Willow leans forward and kisses me. When we pull apart she smiles and talks again.
"What I'm trying to say Buffy, is that I think I've been in love with you almost since we met. Actually I can't remember a time when I wasn't in love with you."
"I know Wills, I know. So have I." I stand up and see the confused look in her eyes.
"Where are we going?"
"Esspreso Pump?" I say giving her a wicked smile. She just laughs and nods.
We are sitting close to the window. There is still something that worries me. Buffy sees the look in my eyes and leans closer.
"What is it Wills?"
"I suppose we'll have to tell the others."
"They already know."
I'm dumbstruck. "How?"
"I guess it was obvious."
"And Giles and your mom?"
"They know too."
It takes two seconds for her words to sink in. "Oh."
Five hours later.
We're laying on the sofa watching telly. Buffy is holding my hand and I'm resting my head on her shoulder. I close my eyes and let her perfume invade my nostrils.
When I open my eyes I can hardly see. I'm not sure where we are. Buffy is standing close to me, her arms around my waist. I lean closer placing my hand on the back of her neck and pull her closer. My free hand tracing the curve of her hip. I feel her body reacting to my touch. Her lips part and my tongue enters her mouth, softly exploring hers. Bolts of pleasure run through my body. Suddenly a door opens and I see a vampire. She comes close and I break the kiss. The vampire is on me now, her game face on.
"See what happens when you try to run away?" She says in a low menacing voice. I try to find something to repel her with, but I don't find anything. My heart is hammering in my chest and my body is shaking with fear. She leans closer showing me her fangs, diving her head towards my neck. I feel her fangs sinking into my neck and blood coming out off it. I look at it and realise Buffy is laying at my feet, a knife in her back and blood pouring out off the wound. With my last strength I kneel beside her, take her face between my hands and turn it to look at her. Her face is pale and the light from her eyes is gone. She's dead. I look at the vampire and scream at her with all my might. YOU KILLED HER!!! NOOO!!!
We are sitting in the living room. Mom's just called from the Gallery. She'll be coming home late tonight. We've been watching telly for a while. Willow's head is resting on my shoulder. She's sleeping. My hand is holding hers. I lean forward and kiss her beatiful red hair gently. Suddenly she starts stirring, trying to break free. Then she screams.
"YOU KILLED HER!!! NOOO!!!"
"Wills?. Wake up Wills!" She jerks up and jumps out off the sofa. Her eyes are wide open with fear.
"Wills, it's okay." I stand up and hold her tight. She puts her head on my shoulder and starts sobbing.
"They killed you, and I couldn't do anything!" She's shaking in my arms by now. I just hold her tight trying to soothe her. Abruptly she faints. I lift her in my arms and carry her upstairs, laying her very carefully on the bed. Crying I lay down beside her and hold her in my arms, kissing her forehead and petting her hair.
I don't know why, but when I open my eyes I'm laying in Buffy's bed fully clothed. Buffy is laying beside me, holding me tight. I turn to look at her. Her face is buried on my shoulder. I gently stroke her hair. She lifts her face to look at me and I can see she's crying.
"Buffy? What's wrong? Why are you crying?" Suddenly I remember the nightmare. I must have fainted. But Buffy is alive and that's all that matters to me now. I shift to my side to look at her and wrap my arms around her.
"Wills? are you ok?" I start crying again. I can't shake the images from my head.
"They killed you Buffy, and there was nothing I could do!"
"It's all right now. Shhh."
My face is on Willow's shoulder when she opens her eyes. When I look up at her she sees I'm crying.
"Buffy? What's wrong? Why are you crying?" Suddenly I see fear in her eyes and she starts crying.
"They killed you Buffy, and there was nothing I could do!"
"It's all right now. Shhh." I say stroking her cheek gently and brushing the tears away from her face. She's shifted position and now we are laying facing each other. Her arms are around my waist. Then I pull her close with my free hand and kiss her. I want to make love to her, but I'm not sure if she wants the same. When we break the kiss she pulls back enough to look me in the eye.
"I love you, Buffy."
"I love you too, Willow." I start kissing her again. I feel her hands sliding up my shoulders, stroking them. I just can't stand it any more and slip my hands under her shirt touching soft warm skin. She freezes for and instant and I'm afraid of her saying she's not ready. No need to fear. She pulls back enough to look at me. I can see love and passion in her eyes. She starts undoing my shirt. I shudder and undo hers at the same time. Soon her hands are roaming over my skin, touching, caressing, exploring. I place my lips over her chest and glide my tongue around her breasts. She's moaning softly under my caresses. Our bodies mould together and soon we are pulling at our clothes frantically.
My breath is becoming shabby. Her lips are seeking mine again while her hands are sliding down my body. Soon we are naked. She shifts and moves beneath me.
"You are so beatiful." She says in a voice thick with passion. I feel the heat pulling through my body. I can't talk. I'm overwhelmed. My brain is not functioning. I'm not aware of anything anymore, only her. I slip my free hand below her belly and caress velvety, soft skin, slipping my fingers inside her. She arches against me, holding tightly and pushing forward to increase the contact. I hear her groaning with pleasure. Suddenly her hand slides between my thighs touching the centre of my pleasure, stroking it, and I moan loudly. I know I'll lose it soon, but I don't want to. Our breath is ragged. I increase the movement of my fingers to match her rythm. My heart is thumping in my chest and I feel dizzy. My blood has become molten lava in my veins. Suddenly we both freeze at the same time and a heartbeat later our bodies implode and then explode outwards. I hear her calling out my name at the same time that I call out hers, our voices thick with pleasure. We cling tightly onto each other, riding the orgasm together, and then we collapse back into the bed.
We are still shaking in the aftermath and I can feel tears of happiness rolling down my cheeks. I never knew I could feel like this.
Buffy is kissing me. When we pull apart I lock my eyes with hers. I can see passion and love in them
"I love you, Buffy."
"I love you too, Willow."
We keep on kissing. Soon I'm panting. I want to touch her bare skin, to explore every inch of her body. She slides her hands under my shirt and I tense under her care. My face is buried in the hollow of her throat, my tongue painting erotic designs on her skin. I pull back and look at her. I know she's afraid, but there is no need for talking. She understands and starts opening my shirt. I undo hers and soon my hands are running wild over her flesh, exploring new and uncharted territory. I'm happy beyond words. I can smell the musky scent of her body and I feel wetness and heat pulling through me. Her tongue is tracing the pattern of my breasts and I let out a low growl thick with pleasure.
We soon get rid of our clothes, our bodies moulding into each other, fitting perfectly. I shift and move Buffy over me. I let my tongue trace patterns over her breasts. "You are so beautiful." I say to her. My blood is becoming thick with pleasure. My head is spinning and I lose track of my surroundings. I'm only conscious of the woman on top of me and of her ministrations. And the fact of knowing that it's Buffy the one I'm sharing my body and my emotions with makes me tremble with ectasy.
I feel her hand slip down my belly and my muscles tense in anticipation. Her touch makes me go wild. I don't want this moment to end. I want to freeze time and stay like this for eternity. I swallow hard when her hand riches my inner thigh and then she slides her fingers inside me, caressing, stroking. I arch my body against her and hold tight, feeling a wave of uncontrollable pleasure running riot over my flesh. I grasp her back with one hand while I slip the other between her legs, touching incredibly silky skin. I find the spot where the pleasure is thicker and fondle it with my fingers. She reacts instantly to my touch, thrusting her body against mine, matching her movements to mine. I hear her crying out with pleasure. We keep on caressing, feeling one wave of pleasure after another. Suddenly our bodies freeze at the same time and then a hot, wild orgasm tears through us. I cry her name out and I hear her doing the same. We hang tightly onto each other, ridding it together. Afterwards we slump back into the bed. We hold on to each other and slowly we recover our breath. Her body is against mine, her face buried on my chest. I feel her blonde hair sprawled over my breasts.
She lifts her head and looks at me. She is crying.
"I'm happy Wills, very happy. I love you."
"Thank you." I say.
"For everything. I love you Buffy."
San Francisco. Five years later
I wake up and go to the kitchen. Buffy's been awake for a while now. When I sit down she makes me a cup of coffee and gives me a gift wrapped in red paper.
"Hey, it's not Christmas yet!."
I do so and take out a manuscript. I start reading it. When I finish tears are rolling down my face. She leans closer and kisses me, putting her arms around me.
"During five years I've been blaming myself for what happened to you back then. But I've realised it wasn't my fault. It was our destiny. You are the One I was looking for. I've found you Wills, and I'll never let you go."
Wills has finished reading it. She's crying. I kiss her and put my arms around her. The demons that have been hunting me for five years, hunting us, are gone now. We can get on with the rest of our lives. The nightmares are gone. The guilt is gone. I found her, I found my soulmate that week, five years ago. The one who keeps me together with her love and strength. She's the light of my life and my reason for living. The One. Now we only have the future before us. And so it begins.