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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20. When A Slayers Strength Fails Her

“M-my name's T-Tara Maclay, I'm h-here to p-p-pick a coffin f-for-for Willow Rosen-Rosenberg.” The blonde witch said with wobbling lips and a shaky body. She wiped at her teary eyes with the end of her sleeve, then sniffled loudly.

The bald man behind the desk smiled comfortingly at the witch. “Yes, a Ms Summers phoned earlier that you'd be coming.” “That's me.” Buffy said from Tara's left. He smiled at her the same way, then turned back to Tara.

“We've got a very wide selection, I'm sure we'll be able to help you find something that does Ms Rosenberg justice. If you'd follow me.” He said as he stepped out from behind his desk and went through an open door. Both blondes did as he said.

They followed the man down a too bright corridor, to the right and into a large room filled with nothing but empty coffins on metal tables.

Tara looked about and sniffled again. The man cleared his throat then said “There's another room just down the hall to the left. If you're looking for something in particular just let me know, I'll be at the front desk. Take as long as you need.” He spoke softly and left, leaving Buffy and Tara alone in the coffin room.

Buffy broke the silence first. “Honestly I don't want to be here for long.” The slayer said in a fearful voice. “Tara can we do this quickly?” She asked in a rush, trying to keep herself from breaking down yet be considerate to Tara at the same time.

The witch, who had started walking among the various boxes, looked back at her friend and said with a considerate look on her face “B-Buffy I can do t-this alone. You c-can wait outs-side.” Buffy shook her head. “No, no I'm-I'm okay. I-I'm here for you. Just forget I said anything.” She said blinking quickly and repeatedly and with a defiant smile as she to started moving among the rows and rows of coffins.

She can't do this Tara. The witch told herself.

Tara moved quickly to the slayer and stopped in front of her, reaching out with both hands she gently grabbed Buffy's shoulders. Buffy sniffed loudly and was visibly forcing herself to not cry. “B-Buffy.” Tara said, putting a very strong lid on her own emotions.

The slayer was staring down at the coffin to her right and was shaking ever so slightly.

Tara took her left hand from Buffy's shoulder and gently placed it on the right side of the slayers face. She moved her friends head so she could look her in the eye. “Buffy, I can d-do this by mys-self, okay? You d-don't need to be here. I-I can handle this.” Buffy's lips wobbled. “B-but Tara you, I-I-” The witch cut her off. “I'm okay, I've g-got this.” She smiled warmly at her and pulled her into a hug.

Buffy was breathing unevenly again and a few tears escaped.

Buffy pulled back and held Tara at arms length. “Thank you.” She said in a strained voice, her blockade against her sorrow failing. The slayer then hurriedly left the room.

The witch glanced around, now alone with the cradles for the dead. She took a deep breath to calm herself.

Okay Tara, now you need to find something nice for Willow to sleep in.

 

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