Didn't Turn Back

Buffy the vampire slayer. Buffy doesn't go back to Willow at the end of Wrecked. Hours later Spike finds Willow with a bruised head and shredded arms nearly dead. Love vs guilt.

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9. Guilt

Willow watched as Tara opened the door and walked through it. She stared at it when it shut, and kept staring for several seconds after that. Alison Cootes cleared her throat to get her patients attention. “Huh? What?” The redhead asked, she thought Alison asked her something, but she didn't know what.

“Relationship problems?” Alison reminded the witch.

“Oh, um.” How do I even begin to tell her? Okay calm down Rosenberg. Just give her the back cover overview. Willow took a calming breath and started. “Okay so, in high I started dating this guy called Oz, he was the guitarist in a band.” The witch smiled proudly at the memory of dating someone so cool. Great guy, in a band, how did that happen again? She asked herself rhetorically. Oh yeah, he wasn't a great guy. He cheated on me with a bitch, literately!

“A little while before we graduated I decided to go to UC Sunnydale with him and Buffy. And um I think it was a few weeks after we started there that I found him-” She pushed hard against a new wave of unwanted sadness, that memory still stung. “in bed with someone else. He broke up with me after that and then left.” Alison wrote down every one of Willow's words. She looked up briefly to ask “And how did that make you feel?” Willow gulped. “Really bad.” She answered.

“Like a week or so later I met Tara at a wicca club meeting,” Crap!, did I just say 'wicca'? Okay time to think quickly Rosenberg. “'cause I thought 'Hey, witches! That sounds like fun'” She said in a rush. Nice cover up. She told herself.

“We got really close and became really great friends. And Oz came back awhile later, and he said he wanted to get back together.” “Did you want to get back together?” Dr Cootes asked curiously. The redhead shook her head slowly. “I didn't know what I wanted. I was going through some stuff and was having new, strange feelings,” She paused. Should I tell her about Tara? Maybe I should make someone up. Yeah I'll do that. “for Tara.” Damn it Rosenberg! Okay I guess it doesn't really matter. The witch sighed inwardly.

Alison Cootes raised an eyebrow. “Strange meaning sexual?” She paused a little between the two last words of that sentence.

“Yes and no. I did, you know, think about her like that sometimes, but most of the time,”

Willow was failing to hold back her pain now. All her memories of her and Tara seemed somewhat tainted. And now, she had, not only pushed Tara away, but she hurt her along the way. “I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and hold her and kiss her and keep her safe from anything that might hurt her.” The redhead had started crying at the word 'safe'. 

I wanted to keep her safe and make sure she never got hurt. But she wasn't safe with me, she wasn't safe from me. I hurt her, I hurt her so bad and then she left, but just before in the waiting room, she looked at me, like she still loved me. I can't let myself hurt her again. I won't let myself hurt her again.

“But then I hurt her.” The witch put her head in her hands and dug her nails into her scalp.

“How did you hurt her? What did you do?” Dr Cootes asked as she wrote down everything the redhead was doing and saying. “I-I-I-I,” Willow couldn't get the words out. She had picked magic over Tara. She had picked the easy road rather than the happy one. And look where the easy road had gotten her. Look what the easy road had done to her beloved Tara.
-I-I have to go.” The witch stood up so fast that she knocked her chair backwards.

Something was happening. Something was trying to claw its way throughout her body. Willow couldn't find the door, or what direction the door was in. She stumbled to the side and hit a wall. Her leg muscles flexed and relaxed, and flexed and relaxed, and flexed and relaxed. The redheads left arm felt like something inside of it was forcing it to her side. And her right arm was pulled behind her back. The witches torso bent forwards then back, slamming into the ecru yellow wall.

Everyone of her muscles started spasming out of control and she fell to the floor. Willow's teeth clenched and pain blasted through her. AHHHHH! WHAT'S HAPPENING? WHA-WHA-WHAT'S AHHHH! PLEASE ST-STO-ST-STO- AHHHHH! She screamed and screamed inside her head, but her mouth wouldn't make a sound.

Alison Cootes was over to her in a split second, leaving her clipboard and pen on her own chair. “Willow? Willow?” Alison started panicking. What's happening? What do I do? She asked herself. “Her doctor! I need to get her doctor and make sure she doesn't get injured.” Dr Cootes thought aloud and nodded to herself. She took a deep breath before yelling out. “ELLEN GET ROSENBERG'S DOCTOR NOW!”

She quickly knelt down by the spasming girls head.
 carefully as she could, Alison Cootes put the red haired girls head in her lap and cradled it so it wouldn't hit anything. Umm, okay, try to assure her she's okay. Alison instructed herself. “Okay Willow, it's okay, you're okay, I'm right here and you're okay.”

The door burst open, but Alison Cootes was too focused on Willow to notice.

Tara stood in the doorway, her terrified eyes opened wide. Buffy froze behind her, trying to figure out what she was seeing. The blonde witches eyes suddenly narrowed, and she sprinted to her love. Tara pushed Dr Cootes out of the way and took her place.

She lay her hands on both sides of Willow's head and sat up straight. The blonde shut her eyes and chanted something in latin. Willow's spasming lessened but not by much.

[Willow's Mind]> The 16 year old Willow was screaming in agony as she felt an invisible force twist and bend her body. Through teary eyes she saw a tiny, purple-black wisp of a cloud swirl in the surrounding darkness.

[Exam Room 3]> Tara added another three words to her latin chant. Willow's eyes fluttered closed. And her bodies movements slowed and slowed until she lay still on the floor. Her chest and shoulders lifted and fell with the her rushed breaths.

The blonde witch gently combed her fingers through her loves hair with her left hand and rubbed Willow's arm with her other.

“It's alright, baby. Y-you're alright. I'm r-right here and I'm n-never going to let you go. Everything's going to be o-okay, Willow.”

Willow's breathing slowed and only the memory of her body moving of its own accord remained. Mmmmm, Tara-hands. Tara-hands are nice. The red haired witches mind was fuzzy after what had just happened. All she could think was how good it felt to be touched by her loves hands.

Tara-hands. Willow said dreamily in her head. “Mmm, Tara-hands.” She said in a drowsy, sing-song voice.

Tara smiled down at her love. “Willow-hair.” She said.

“Okay, can someone please tell me what happened?” Buffy asked angrily. Willow's doctor had come running into the psychiatric doctors office, along with two nurses. They had put the redhead on a gurney and taken her to her room. 4 hours had passed and Buffy still hadn't gotten any kind of answer from either doctor.

“D-don't you k-know anything y-yet? You've b-been d-doing tests for 4 hours.” Tara asked, equally angrily. The nurse looked fearfully at the two blondes and gulped. “I'm sorry, but until Dr Brook comes back I won't know. So please just wait. I'll go and see if I can find him.” She hurriedly fled the room, wanting nothing more than to be out of the two girls's terrifying stares.

Tara moved a chair closer to her loves bed and took the unconscious girls hand in both of hers. Buffy sat on a chair on the opposite side of her friends bed. She worriedly watched Tara. Buffy had never seen the blonde witch as weepy as she had been for the past few days. Just ask, Buffy. The slayer told herself.

“Tara?” She asked gently. “Y-yeah Buffy?” The witch replied distractedly. “Um, I don't want to sound mean or anything. But,” Buffy paused. “usually when something bad happens you go a little badass, but,” She paused, trying to read her friends face, but couldn't read anything. “with this thing with Willow. I know it's probably because of how much you love her, but,” Buffy paused again. Recondition flashed across Tara's face. “I-I know.” Tara said before Buffy could continue. 

“I kn-know I've b-been r-really weepy.”
s it okay if I ask why you have?” The slayer hesitantly asked. The witch didn't say anything for 2 or 3 minutes, then “That f-first night when you called t-to t-tell me about her in here.” Her eyes flickered around the room. “I r-ran here from my dorm, I d-didn't really have any strength left to hold back on being w-weepy.” The smaller blonde nodded slightly. “But the next day, and today and yesterday?” Buffy wanted to know more. She was trying to be gentle while asking.

“I've been f-focusing most of my strength on keeping her g-going. And that spell w-with the coven, it's hard to keep that up.”

Buffy's brow furrowed in slight confusion. “I thought Giles said that casting the spell was the only hard part. Why's it draining you so much?” The witch bit her lip. “D-don't tell Giles,” Tara's eyes started filling again, but not with tears, but guilt.

“Don't tell Giles what?” The slayer leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees. “I-I'm using every bit of magic I h-have to keep h-her safe.”

The slayers mouth fell open and her eyes widened with concern. “Tara, is that safe?” The blonde in question shook her head absently. “I really d-don't know, a-and I don't care.” “But Tara-” Tara whipped her head around to face the slayer. “P-please don't t-tell G-Giles. H-he'll make me s-stop.” The witches eyes were wide with pleading. Buffy swallowed, then, after a long moment of quiet, she nodded.

The door swung open and Dr Allen Brook walked in, trailed by the nurse who had fled earlier. “What happened to her in that exam room?” The slayer demanded as she stood up and faced the new arrivals. “Would you like the complicated and medical term filled version or the simple one?” He asked humorlessly.

His face was set in a seriousness that made Buffy take a small step back. “T-the s-simple o-one.” Tara said as she to turned to face the doctor and nurse.

“I spoke with Dr Cootes and she filled me in on the details of what was going on before the incident. And we believe that the guilt Ms Rosenberg felt for doing whatever it was she did to you,” He gestured to Tara. Me? The witch asked in her head, scared that she had caused that to happen to her love. “overwhelmed her and her senses went into overload and her body went into a seizure. Once she expelled the energy that it built up, her tremors stopped and she fell unconscious. She's okay, just exhausted.” Allen Brook gave both the blondes a reassuring smile. “She's okay, she'll just be asleep for a while.” Buffy felt a wave of relief wash over her.

Then a thought occurred to the slayer, and she felt horror struck. “Could that happen again?” She asked, her eyes wide with fear. The doctors smile vanished instantly. And he nodded grimly. “There's a very high chance it will.”
Goddess of nature, mother of the earth, give me the strength 10 times my own. Tara said the words to a spell in her head. She felt the other-dimensionally goddess send her power, and she pushed it into her arms and through her hands, into Willow.

[Willow's mind]> The purple-black wisp danced before the young redhead. Who felt more psychically drained than ever before. Her eyes opened wide, and she gasped. The wisp was sucked through an invisible hole and her strength felt replenished.

[Willow's Hospital Room]> Tara fainted and fell out of her chair. Her hands still holding onto her loves hand, sending all the magic the other-dimensionally goddess had given her to her beloved.

She heard Buffy say her name and felt the cold floor pressed against her face. Then she was laughing on a park bench with Willow. The light shinning from behind the redhead making her look like an angel.

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