Always Time To Say Goodbye Part 3




"Buffy . . .I . . ." Willow felt overwhelmed and confused by what she was being asked. What was Buffy REALLY asking of her? Going back to do it again? Do what again? The years since Sunnydale had been good to her, did she really want to give that up for , for what, a chance that it could turn out worse? And what about Kennedy? Was she willing to give up the years they had been together, for Buffy?

She knew the answer even as it entered her mind, a realization that forced her breath to catch in her throat. No matter what had happened between them, she knew that whatever Buffy had needed from her she would give it. Hell, she had just lied to her wife and gone off with Angel to restore Buffy's soul into her vampiric body.

And now she was offered the chance to do it all again, to spend those years at the slayer's side, again. She realized with no small amount of guilt that she hadn't really needed to think about this at all, she'd made the decision the moment it was offered. Now all she had to do was confirm the growing hope inside her heart, and discover what it was that Buffy was hiding in hers.

Angel picked that moment to return from whatever it was that Buffy had asked him to do. He knelt down by her and placed his hand on her forehead feeling the heat under the undead skin. " You're burning up, you know that's not a good thing, right?"

Buffy only gave him a weak smile and gave his hand a gentle squeeze. " I'll be OK, is everything set up?"

"Yeah, I placed everything you'll need in the room out back, everything's ready to go." He paused, he wasn't entirely convinced this was wise. He also had an idea of what was really driving the slayer to do it and it hurt him to know what he was going to lose. "Are you sure that this is what you want?''

"Kinda too late for second thoughts isn't it? But, yeah, it is. I know this is going to be hard for you, . . . I just want you to know how much it means to me that you're willing to do this for me."

Angel leant down to whisper into her ear. "There has always been a bond between us, I believe there always will be. I'll always be there when you need me."

Angel looked over to where her Willow was sitting and back to Buffy, "She looks like she's made her decision."

Buffy couldn't look at her, she knew all to well what she was asking her friend to do, and she recognized the very real possibility that she would turn her down. "How's she look?"

"She's got a pissed off version of her 'resolve face' on, it doesn't look good. Maybe you better prepare yourself for the worst."

Willow watched the interaction between the two vampires not really understanding what they were discussing, and not really paying that much attention to it either, she was still reeling from what she decided to do.

That didn't make it any easier though, and the fact that Buffy was asking her do this now, after all these years. . . all the terrible things that had happened to them back then, and she wanted to live through all that again on the CHANCE that it might be better this time? Willow needed to be sure, not just of what was in her heart but what the slayer really wanted.

"Buffy !" Willow said her name somewhat forcefully to make sure that she had her attention and it startled the slayer somewhat. She looked at the witch somewhat sheepishly and Angel backed off a few feet, this was between the ladies and he had no intention of getting between them.

"Buffy, I know you said you can't tell me much more, but before I tell you what I've decided you need to answer a few questions, and answer them honestly, and the PTB be damned. OK?"

The petite blonde nodded and looked down at her feet, no this didn't look good at all.

"OK, you don't have to say much, just yes or no . First, you're in pain, aren't you?"

"Yes."

"The slayer in you is trying to destroy the demonic body it's now in, correct?"

"yes."

"And the spell to restore your soul, it won't stop that will it?"

"no."

"How long till it kills you, and don't you dare lie to me."

". . . sunrise." Buffy didn't like the way this was going, Willow sounded really pissed. She brought her arms up across her belly, hugging herself, hoping she was wrong.

Willow took a step closer and lifted the new vampire's chin with two gentle fingers so that she could look into her eyes.

"Look at me Buffy . . .Tell me the truth, you're not doing this because of Adam, or Glory, or the First, or any other of the big bads we had to face are you?"

" I . . . I don't know what you mean."

"DON'T ! . . . Please Buffy, the truth, I've already made up my mind, but I need to hear this from you . " Willow's 'resolve' face melted into one of concern and need, Buffy knew that it would be impossible to lie to her at this point.

" No, those aren't the reasons."

" Then tell me ...why?"

"Willow I . . .I can't . . ."

The witch knelt at the slayer's feet holding both her hands, deep green eyes piercing hazel, tears born from a desperate need wetting her lashes. "Buffy, please, tell me . . .say it, please!"

"Willow I. . .I've always . . .Because I love you."

"How long?"

"Always, since that very first day in the quad."

"But you never said anything."

"I did, in my own way, but I never had the courage to just tell you. I never thought for one moment that it could be like that between us. Then, when you came out I thought , just for a moment that there was a chance, but you had Tara and there was always the next big bad, and the chance that my next fight would be my last. I didn't want you to have to go through that, I couldn't bare it. Then I wasn't the only slayer anymore, I didn't have to take the risks anymore, but you had Kennedy by then and I couldn't do anything to ruin that for you, or our friendship. But it got to be too much for me to be around you knowing what I could never have, so our friendship suffered anyway."

"Do you have any idea what you're asking me to do, what you are asking me to give up? I've been with Kenny for over twenty years, good years."

With a sense of dread the small woman could only nod. She knew exactly what she was asking and what the risks were, and was willing to face the reality that the wiccan would say no, which at this point seemed an all too likely possibility.

"When do we leave?"

"Huh? What?"

"I said, when do we leave?"

Buffy looked deep into her green eyes and could see the determination and resolve burning behind them. She could also see the deep and undying love the redhead had always held close to her heart for the slayer. Leaning forward she pressed her lips to Willows, tears leaking from her eyes from the sheer joy of kissing her one true love at long last.


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