The door slammed shut behind Willow as she ran up to her room.
Goddess, how she missed Tara. More then once she had thought about taking her own life and that _thing_ had played on it. Tara never would have suggested suicide, no matter what. Tara was the one who had said she was strong like an Amazon. Tara was the on who had believed in her. And that thing she had been talking to wasn’t Cassie Newton. Cassie wasn’t a monster. She was just a scared teenage girl, who had known she was going to die.
But Willow hadn’t been exaggerating when she said each day was like a giant hole. Xander was right when he said the earth doesn’t open up and swallow you when you want it to.
Falling onto her bed crying, Willow started to cast a spell to make the room dark, then stopped. ‘Cassie’ had said the power was too big. That it would take over again. Sure the thing that had said it was evil, but what if it wasn’t lying about it? What if she would kill everyone this time? Willow wasn’t ready to take that chance. No way.
Willow got up, walked over to her dresser and picked up the framed photo of her and Tara in their old dorm room with Tara’s kitten. “Tara, baby, I’m so sorry.” Sobbing now, barely able to breath, the heartbroken redhead slumped onto the floor. “Tara…”
“Willow? Is that you?” A female voice asked. Dawn poked her head into the room. She was bleeding, and looked like she had been crying as well. But Willow didn’t look up. Then the younger girl was standing over her, hand over her cut, as to stop the blood from getting on the witch. “Are you okay?” Doing her best to fake happiness, Willow looked at the brunet.
“Fine. What happened to you?” Willow asked, looking at the cut.
“Oh. I… I saw mom. She was being attacked by something. She said…” But Willow had tuned her out. *The world would be a much better place if you took a razorblade to your wrists…* Shaking the thought out of her head, Will tried to concentrate on the sound of Dawn’s whiney voice. *It’s not that bad. Really. It’s just like falling asleep.*
“Shut up. Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!” Dawn’s head snapped up.
“What’d I say?”
“What? I’m sorry, Dawn. I guess I’m not feeling so good. I’m going to go lay down. Maybe you should go wait for Buffy to come home.”
“Okay. I hope you feel better.” Shutting the bedroom door behind her, Dawn left the room without another word. Laying on her bed, Willow looked over at where Tara used to sleep. The bed seemed so big and empty without her. *You could see her. And you wouldn’t have to talk through me.* Turning over, Willow covered her head with a pillow. *Be with her. Everybody will be safe and you’ll be together again.*
“No. I won’t do it.” Falling asleep, Willow felt worse then ever before.
>>>>>>>> ‘Well, lookie what we got here.’ Tara was chained to a wall, wearing the clothing she died in. The bullet wound visible in her chest, but now there were also several cuts on her face and neck. One deep gash on her right arm, trailing from her wrist to just below her shoulder, the sleeve cut along with her skin, showing bits of white, where the knife had cut right to the bone. Willow was forced to watch as a hooded figure lifted a dagger to her dead lover’s face, trailing it from her temple to the base of her chin, making a superficial cut, shallow enough not to do much damage, but drawing blood all the same. Tara began to cry softly, showing that although she was in great pain, it seamed as if she had almost began to become used to it, like it had happened to her so often that she had grown accustomed to this. The figure placed the knife into the pocket of the robe and reached out toward the place where Warren had shot her, fingers applying pressure. Tara let out a shriek from the abuse on her battered body. She started to shake violently and the one in the dark cloak laughed in a voice, Willow recognized as female, as the blonde witch was having what looked like a seizure. The back of her head hit the wall and she passed out. Still laughing, the woman turned and it was Cassie.
‘Willow…’ Tara murmured, then was out cold again.
‘Your fault. You could have prevented it.’ Cassie told her.
“TARA!” Willow screamed, bolting upright in bed. She had to stop this. She had to be with her beloved. No matter what. Walking into the bathroom, Willow reached over to look in the cabinet. Taking a razor with shaky hands, she walked back to her room. Assembling 12 white candles in a circle, Willow sat down and inhaled deeply. Bringing the blade down onto her wrist, she forced her thoughts into a time when she was in complete bliss. The time when Tara sang to her came to her, and she stayed with the memory as she brought the metal down again, making an even deeper cut. Not able to hold back any longer, Willow screamed. She could feel the loss of blood getting to her, but she made a third gash. She had to get it done before Buffy came and stopped her. As if on cue, she heard Buffy yell.
“Willow? Are you okay?” Buffy tried to step into her room, but Willow was ahead of her.
“Stop!” An invisible barrier formed on the threshold repelling the Slayer backwards into Dawn’s door. Willow cut herself once again, and knew her life was draining from her. It would soon be over.
The sound of Buffy against her door awoke Dawn. She immerged from her room, in time to see her sister standing in front of Willow’s room, a look of shock on her face.
“Buffy, wa-“ she trailed off when she the blonde speak.
“Willow. You don’t have to do this! There must be some other way!” Willow gave a short, sad laugh.
“Can you bring Tara back? Guarantee that the power won’t take control again? Stop this feeling of pointlessness?” One tear ran down her cheek. “There _is_ no other way. *She was my everything!* And now she is gone. You don’t know how bad it hurts. How much it took to drive me to this. More then you can imagine. But I can’t live without her. And now I won’t have to. I’ll be with her forever.” Willow brought the blade down one more time. A look of serenity crossed her face and she smiled. For the first time since Tara died, she was at peace. She knew she was going to see her baby.
“Willow, please don’t do this. We’ll get you help. Just please don’t die.” Buffy begged.
“There _is_ no help.” Willow looked straight at Buffy. “Why can’t you just…” Willow trailed off, and for a moment Buffy thought she was dead. Then the redhead raised her head from where she lay and said “Come”
The barrier dropped and both Buffy and Dawn ran to Willow’s side. But by the time they got there and checked for a pulse, she couldn’t find one. But if the look on Willow’s face told her anything, it was that she died content, knowing that she would be with her lover soon.