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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19. How Does This Happen

“So that's it for today. I'll see you all tomorrow.” Said a bearded psychiatrist as he stood from his chair. The circle of about 20 people broke as the patients got up and began putting their chairs away. Willow was among them.

Finally. This stupid group therapy session is over. Willow thought with relief as she lined up to put her foldable chair back in its closet. Now time for another paper food lunch.

The redhead made her way through the mental facilities complex to the cafeteria and again lined up. The line wasn't as long as usual. I guess I got here early. The witch thought with mild surprise.

Two or three minutes after getting her tray full of 'paper food' as she had called it, Willow was sat at an empty table a foot or so from the back wall, eating with near to no interest her food. She felt a bug or something land on her back and awkwardly reached behind her to scratch at it. Nothing was there.

Suddenly the table in front of her began to spin and the taste of copper filled her mouth. The witch drew in a breath to calm the spinning world and when she exhaled a high gurgle accompanied the carbon dioxide leaving her.

Her eyes didn't seem to be able to close and her stomach started to feel as if she hadn't eaten in days. The world around her was going dark and all the sounds of the other patients fled. A cold fire filled her fingertips and toes and she stopped feeling the seat beneath her.

As quickly as it had started the feeling was gone, but so was everything else.

[Tara's University]> The blonde tried to listen carefully to the professor at the front of the room. Her hand writing down the key points of what the woman was saying. Tara covered her mouth with her hand as she yawned. Tiredness never seemed to abandon her nowadays.

But then it did, a weight off her shoulders. It was as if someone had injected her with pure energy, lots of it. Tara felt a buzz.

[Willow's Mental Health Facility Later That Day]> Tara walked out across the facilities outside area. Patients and nurses were paired off around the grassy place. There were about 14 trees and around 10 wooden benches.

Willow was sitting at a trees base, with a book open in her lap. One of the younger male nurses was sat at her side.

The blondes sudden burst of energy from her class earlier hadn't worn off yet. Their was a bounce in her step as she made her way to the love of her life.

Still a far bit away from reaching Willow's tree, Tara was intercepted by another nurse. “Hey Tara.” The dark haired nurse said, coming to a stop.

“H-hi Monica, hi Charlotte.” The witch said to the nurse, Monica, and the patient by her side. “How are y-you two?” Tara added, she was just trying to be nice, the witch really couldn't have cared less about how they were. “Oh I'm fine,” Monica said waving her off. “Charlotte here however is a little less than fine. I'm sure you heard about her and that other girl in the laundry room yesterday?”

That sounds like a movie Xander would love. Tara thought amusedly. “N-no I-I haven't, but I've g-got to go, sorry.” She said gesturing toward where Willow was. Monica glanced to where the witch was pointing, then turned back. “Oh okay, I'll see you later then.” Tara continued on her way.

The blonde was about ten meters away from Willow and the other nurse when the redheads head fell onto her open book and her shoulders went slack. The nurse by her didn't seem to notice. Tara broke into a run and dropped into a crouch by her love.

“W-Willow what's wrong?” She asked worriedly, gently but firmly grabbing onto Willow's shoulders. Willow's shoulders felt like ice through her shirt, Tara shook her slightly. She lifted her head up out of her book and carefully opened her left eyelid with her thumb. Her green eye seemed to be vacant and more hollow than usual. “Willow?” The blonde asked again, slower this time. Her voice cracked slightly.

“Willow!” She said loudly with panic.

[Buffy's Car On The Way Back To Sunnydale]> Xander driving, Buffy in shotgun, Anya and Dawn in the backseat. They were silent due to Anya's hangover and the ex-demons frequent proclamations that whispering was too loud. The slayers phone smashed the quiet like a wrecking ball. Anya growled angrily and Buffy mouthed sorry as she pulled her phone out.

“Hey this is Buffy.” She said automatically. “What?” She whispered in a voice that sounded remarkably like she'd just been stabbed. The slayer sounded like she was close to breaking down when next she said “Okay, we-we'll be right there.”

She hung up and just stared at her phone in her hands for a few seconds. “Buffy? who was that?” Xander asked with concern. She swallowed with a gulp. “Um, that was uh. Uh it-it was uh. Tur-turn turn around.” Buffy stuttered out. The carpenter looked confused.

“But Buffy, we're almost back in Sunnyda-” “Turn around.” Buffy yelled at him as she started shaking. She stared down at her phone in her hands again. “Turn around,” She said very quietly. “now.” The slayer added after a short pause.

“What happened? Who called you?” Dawn asked anxiously. The slayer didn't answer. “Buffy!” Dawn said with slight anger. “Buffy what-” “Tara needs us.” The blonde interrupted her sister. Xander spun the car around at that and picked up speed. “Then Tara's gonna get us.” He said.

 

The car came to a screeching halt outside the mental facility, the Summers', the ex-demon and the carpenter raced in through the front doors and the slayer pushed the security guards out of their way. “TARA?” Buffy asked in a scream.

“TARA?” She screamed again. They rushed into the visiting room and Buffy asked one of the nurses where Tara was. The nurse had said Tara might be in the garden area and pointed them that way.

The slayer in the lead, the Scoobies burst out into the garden area and immediately spotted a group of chattering people around a tree. They went to the group and pushed through to the center.

Tara was sobbing uncontrollably and sitting on her knees with her arms wrapped around a motionless Willow like a vice. Willow's head was resting on the blondes shoulder as she rocked back and forth hurriedly.

“Willow?” Buffy asked in a tiny voice as she knelt at the witches side. “Willow?” She asked again, her voice cracking and her eyes filling. “Willow please, no.”

Anya stood at the inner edge of the surrounding group, her eyes wide and focused unblinkingly on the red haired witch. “W-Willow wake up.” The ex-demon said in a disbelieving voice. She moved her mouth wordlessly next, trying to find anything else to say. “Willow wake up.” Anya repeated pleadingly when nothing else came to mind. Tears began swelling in her eyes.

Dawn's eyes flickered shut and she collapsed side on into another person. Said person caught her. Xander stared on in shock. Just standing there, unable to comprehend what was going on.

“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.” Tara kept saying quietly as she wept, shaking her head as if denying it enough would make it not true.

“Willow! Willow!” Buffy yelled at her best friend like something important was about to happen and she didn't want Willow to miss it. She stopped yelling and just panted, staring widely and tearfully at Willow's corpse. “Willow?” The slayer asked once more, this time her voice displaying her feelings without restraint.

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