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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Itsumo means Forever...

The auburn haired young woman walked up the gently sloping hill, stopping for a moment to look around her. She put the picnic basket she was carrying down, pulled out a brightly colored blanket and spread it out on the green grass. She sat down smoothly before she pulled different food items from the basket and settled down to eat.

Willow smiled sadly, eating a sandwich. "It's the little things that really get to me," she said quietly. She laughed softly, "Dawn was flipping through the channels, and settled on watching Sailor Moon for a few minutes." She took a bite, "Sailor Uranus and Neptune appeared, and I started crying. I couldn't even explain what was wrong." She sighed, taking a drink, "I'm sure Dawn must think I'm some kind of nut case."

Willow sat up, tucking her legs under her, "Do you remember when..."



"So this is what an anime convention looks like," Xander said, looking around at the packed University of Sunnydale campus. "A bit like a science fiction convention, but the nerds are generally of a better class," he noted.

Xander's eyes widened as a girl dressed as Lum wandered by in a tiny tiger stripped bikini. Anya reached up and slapped him upside the head.

"Do you mind?" Anya complained, "You’re supposed to be looking at me." The skintight red body-suit she was wearing looked like it was painted on her, though Anya didn't seem bothered by the stares she was getting.

"What is that from?" Buffy asked.

"Evangelion," Anya explained, not necessarily helping explain anything.

"Never mind," Buffy sighed. She looked around curiously, "Where are we supposed to meet Willow and Tara, anyway?"

"You passed us twice already," an amused voice said.

They turned, to see a smiling Tara and Willow standing there right beside them. Tara's hair had been dyed black, and she was wearing a zippered leather body-suit. Beside her, Willow's hair was back to it's natural auburn, but it stuck up oddly near the top. She was wearing glasses, a bibbed dress, and a white blouse.

"And who are you supposed to be?" Xander smiled.

Willow took Tara's arm as she explained cheerfully, "I'm dressed as Yomiko Readman, and this is my Nancy-san, from Read or Die."

"You two look... interesting," Anya said diplomatically.

Buffy shook her head and asked, "So what shows would you recommend we go see?" A young man with short spiked blond hair and a long red duster coat wandered by, and she was reminded a bit of Spike.

Willow looked at Buffy thoughtfully, "Vampire Hunter D, maybe, or Hellsing."

"Stereotypical," Buffy muttered under her breath.

"Actually, Giles ended up watching Hellsing with us;" Tara said to them shyly, "he liked it, when he wasn't frowning at the screen."

"Frowning?" Xander asked.

"That sort of pained expression he occasionally gets," Willow chuckled, "you see, it's sort of a Japanese take on Britain, about a vampire hunting organization there."

"And how about us?" Xander asked, putting his arm around Anya's shoulder.

Willow and Tara exchanged a glance, and broke up laughing. "The Tenchi Muyo OVA's, definitely," Tara said with a smile.

"What's so funny?" Buffy asked.

"The main character accidentally wakes up a vengeful demoness," Willow explained with a grin, "who ends up in his bed."

Even Anya smiled at that one.

They all split up to sample the various events, and Willow and Tara headed off to a show they really wanted to see. They settled into the darkened theater, and began to watch the Utena movie. A little over an hour later, they stumbled back out into daylight.

"Nice to see a happy ending," Willow sighed, leaning her head on Tara's shoulder.

"The girl got the girl for a change," Tara agreed in her quiet way. Both ducked aside and listened as they saw two very familiar figures wander by, talking.

"I can't believe I ran into you at the Hellsing showing," Buffy complained to the older man walking beside her.

"Well, I saw the beginning," Giles said rather defensively, "so I wanted to see how it ended."

Buffy smirked, "I sort of wish the Watcher's Council was a bit more like the Hellsing organization. They'd probably get more done."

"You might just have a point," Giles admitted.

Willow shook her head with a smile, "Another successful conversion!"

They shared a laugh as they settled down on a bench together. "You know what one of my favorite Japanese words is?" Tara asked her quietly.

"What's that?" Willow asked.

"Itsumo," Tara pronounced it carefully, "it means forever." She leaned forward, gently kissing her, before whispering again, "Itsumo."



Willow wiped at her tears, "I guess our forever wasn't that long, after all." She reached out; gently tracing the name on the tombstone she was sitting beside. She gathered up her things, packing them away carefully.

"Good-bye Tara," Willow said softly, "I'll be back soon."

A silent Willow walked down the hill, the wind blowing her hair back from her face, blowing a few glittering tears away from her cheeks. Her friends were probably waiting for her down below, and she forced a smile on her face. They all had enough problems to face, without dealing with her grief.



Author's Notes: After the end of the last season and the beginning of the new one, something I really disliked was Willow's lack of grief over Tara's death. Yes, I know that the new season started up a few months after Tara's death, but still...

The idea of Willow and Tara being anime fans is mostly the product of my twisted imagination. That, and anime is generally gay and lesbian friendly, so the two of them might have gravitated to it. Also, it has fairly positive portrayals of female characters in general.

For those who don't watch anime: Haruka and Michiru from Sailor Moon are lesbian lovers. Yomiko and Nancy from Read or Die are at least implied to be in love, and Anya is dressed as Asuka, from the series Neon Genesis Evangelion.
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The authors own nothing. Joss, UPN, WB, etc. own Buffy, the show, the characters, the places, and the backstory. The authors own any original plots.