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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11. Home At Last

[Xander's Car The Next Day]> Nobody had said anything on the drive back from the hospital yet. Xander was driving, Buffy was sat in the passenger seat, Tara in the seat behind Xander and Willow behind Buffy. Dawn, Anya and Giles had decided to wait at the house while the carpenter retrieved the three girls. Tara and the slayer were both looking at Willow. Buffy through the rearview mirror and Tara just had her head turned towards her love. The redheads face was placid, no hint of fear, sorrow, joy, pain, anger or anything else. Her eyes scanned everything they past. Her knees were together, and her hands were clasped in her lap. They were almost home when the cause of the quiet broke it. “I'm sorry, guys.” Willow said, not turning from the window. Buffy furrowed her brow and turned in her seat to face her best friend over her seats headrest. “Willow this isn't-” Buffy started, but Willow interrupted, still staring out the window. “Buffy don't.” “W-Will-” Tara began, but Willow interrupted her to. “Tara don't.” Xander opened his mouth to say something, but the redhead cut him off before he could begin. “And don't start Xander.” But the carpenter ignored her. “Willow there's nothing you have to say sorry fo-” He said as he to looked at her in the rearview mirror. "Xander.” The red haired witch said loudly. Xander flicked his eyes back to the road then to the rearview again. “Please don't.” She said, her voice revealing nothing of what she felt. All three of them, Xander, Buffy and Tara, were about to say more but stopped when Willow closed her eyes and leaned her head against the window. Buffy and Tara met each others gaze and saw their concern for the redhead reflected back at them in the other persons eyes, they returned to watching the redhead and Xander turned back to the road. Nobody said anything else until they entered the Summers' house, and Dawn practically tackled Willow with her hug. “Hey, Dawnie.” Willow said in a sad, broken voice as the teen hugged her. The youngest Summers was smiling broadly that the witch appeared to be fine, psychically anyway.Giles and Anya quickly moved from the living room to the bottom of the stairs by the others. “Hey Giles, hey Anya.” Willow said, a weak smile breaking her placid expression. Dawn let go of the redhead and Giles took the youngest Summers place. “Willow I am so glad to see you out of that hospital.” He said, then stepped back. The ex-demon wrapped her arms around Willow's neck so tightly the redhead had a hard time breathing. “Willow, I'm so happy you're not dead!” Anya said, almost jumping up and down with Willow held to her. “Anya, air.” Willow gasped, with her head slightly red from the lack of oxygen. Anya released her immediately and Dawn embraced the witch again. When next Dawn pulled back she started to ask, “Willow, are you-” but she trailed off as she followed the redheads gaze. Willow was staring at the brunettes cast covered arm that was held in a sling. “Oh, Will it's just a fracture, it doesn't even hurt, see,” Dawn poked her right wrist, smiling as she did it. “painlessness.” Willow's face turned blank again as she looked at the injury she caused. “I'm so sorry Dawn.” She said to the teen. And before Dawn could say anything else, Willow stepped around her and started up the stairs. “Willow, really it doesn't hurt. You don't need to be sorry.” Dawn called after the witch and made to follow her up the stairs, but her sister grabbed her uninjured arm. “Dawn,” Buffy said softly. “I think she just wants to be alone right now.” Dawn turned around to her sister and looked as if the slayer had just suggested going back to Glory's tower and jumping off again. “Alone? She can't be alone, Buffy! What if she-” “Don't worry,” Willow said loudly from the top of the stairs, without looking back at them. “I'm just getting my stuff, Dawn. I'm not gonna do anything else, aside from use the bathroom.” The witch walked out of site and the other Scoobies heard a door open and close. The door suddenly opened again and Willow reappeared at the top of the stairs. Everyone turned back to her worriedly. “Will, what's wrong?” Buffy asked, already half way up the stairs. “No Buffy, nothings wrong, sorry.” The witch said. She made a mental note to hit her head later for making her friends more worried. “I just need some boxes.” She added quickly. “I'll go get some.” Xander volunteered, going back to the door. “The dairy down the road from the magic box leaves boxes behind it for anyone to take.” “Okay, thanks Xander.” Willow said and he left, Anya following him. “Do you n-need any help p-packing, Willow?” Tara asked. “Na, it's fine. Thanks though.” Willow again disappeared into her room. The two blondes, the teen and the watcher stayed where they were for a minute. Then Tara went up the stairs and the others moved into the kitchen. Tara paused at the door to the room she used to share with her love, stoping herself from just going in. It's not your room anymore Tara. Knock first. The blonde told herself. She lightly knocked three times, there was a short pause before the door opened. Willow and Tara met each others eyes, the redheads face still placid. “Hey.” She said in a small voice. “H-hey.” Tara replied. A quiet, too long moment was spent with the two girls just standing on either side of the open door. Tara shifted her eyes from the redhead to the bed she hadn't been in for so long. Four or five piles of neatly folded clothes were atop the beds covers, and a small box by the furtherest pile contained an assortment of different sized, multi-colored candles. On the floor were several stacks of books and some shoes. “S-so I guess you only-only need some boxes n-now huh?” The blonde said nervously. Willow glanced over her shoulder to the room and said “Not quite, I still have a few more things to empty out.” Another too long quiet moment. “I f-found a place,” Tara said and Willow turned back to her. “Oh?” The redhead said. Willow wasn't to eager for her love to move down to LA with her, she still thought Tara would be safer if she would stay here, far away from the danger that she thought she was. Please don't come with me Tara. You'd be safer far away from me so I can't hurt you. Willow begged inside her head. “Yeah, it-it's close to the m-mental facility you-you're going to. And there-there's a university just a f-few blocks away. I-I figure I'll t-transfer there, so I c-can still g-go to school and s-see you.” She said with a shy smile, her head tilted forward a little, so her hair hung like a curtain over most of her face. Willow swallowed and bit her lip. “Tara?” She asked, and Tara looked up at her through her hair. The blonde was acting so much like she had in the first month they knew each other. “You don't have to come with me you know.” The witches smile faded and Willow added quickly, in partial babble mode, “I mean you know, we're-we're not even, you know. And, and it's my fault we're not, so you don't have to come with me.” Oh great, Im in full on babble. Willow said as she continued talking. “And well, your whole life's here. Your friends are here, all those teachers you like are here, all your favorite places, there here to. Your whole life's here, and I messed up every part of that 'life' thing that had me in it. So you should stay here, 'cause your, well everything is here. And plus you'll be safer with lots of miles between us. And I should stop talking now because you're giving me that look you get when you think I might catch on fire from excessive, high speed mouth moving.” Somehow, she wasn't out of breath after all that. “W-Willow-” Tara started, but Willow cut in again. “Tara, you don't have to say or explain anything. I'll just wait for Xander and the boxes, then I'll pack and-” Her brow furrowed. “I guess put them in storage, 'cause I can't take lots of things with me, can I?” She shook her head to clear it. “anyway Tara, I understand. You're better off with lots of road and dirt and buildings and people and things between us. And I need to stop talking now because that 'you're gonna catch on fire' look just grew.” Tara turned the 'you're gonna catch in fire' look, as Willow put it, into a serious one. “Willow, you are m-my life, you're my everything. No m-matter what you do, or what I d-do, that's never g-going to change, I love yo-” Tara didn't get to finish her sentence because Willow's placid expression vanished, tears poured down her face and her whole body tensed up. “SHUT UP!!!” She screamed. Screamed so loud her throat hurt. Then slammed the door in Tara's face.

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