DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and a whole bunch of other people who aren't me. This story, in my mind at least, deals with the idea of romantic love between women. Special thanks as always to my beta Rebs, cheers.
PAIRING: Willow/Tara

The Demon Way
By ralst

Everything is broken.

Love, friendship, my store. All gone.

Somehow I didn't think I'd care now that I'm no longer bogged down with those stupid mortal concerns, but I was wrong. I care. I care so damn much I want to scream at the world to make things right.

When Joyce died they told me that sometimes these things just happen. That people you knew, you had shared moments with, would just leave without so much as a hearty goodbye. It's not as if I don't know death; I've caused more than my fair share, but they've always been deserved it's part of my job description. But Tara didn't deserve to die. Tara, who asked me about my day and my investments. Tara; who held the little girl when her world fell apart and soothed Xander's pain with just a look. The Tara that we all love, did not deserve to die. She deserved to be happy, to be loved, to be herself.

And in some strange, I don't see the attraction, kind of way, she deserved Willow. The Willow who would sneak peeks at her during scoobie meetings and reach out to take her hand the moment she came near. Not the Willow of after, jacked up on power and rage, so lost all she wanted was oblivion. Nor the glimpse of the power junkie Tara had been forced to leave. But the geeky Willow. The funny, if annoying to some of us, Willow. The girl who would risk her life for her friends and give her whole heart to those she loved.

And Willow, she deserved Tara.

Despite our arguments, despite our jealousies, I could see she was special, unique in a way that would attract many but only really captivate a select few. Tara had been one of those captivated. She'd seen past the outer layers of nervous chatter and intelligence, through the inner labyrinth of loyalty, whit and bravery and into a heart of fragile hope and endless love.

Don't get me wrong. She can still be a pain, what with her 'I'm better because I'm a human and haven't killed half of Russia' attitude and lips that have at one time been pressed up against my Xander's. No wait! I don't care about Xander or his lips. I do, however, care about my store or what's left of it.


Everything is ruined.

There's no way we can repair the gaping hole in the side of the building or rebuild the second floor. Not to mention the books. God, Willow ate the books! There's no getting them back. Unless, of course, I could tie her down to a chair and syphon the information out of her and back onto their pages. It's possible, I'm sure. I could ask Hallie, but she'd probably just get jealous of Willow's vengeance technique and suggest sacrificing her at the altar of my stock. I don't have an altar, well, unless you count those imitation Tibetan shrines I was trying to sell for the very reasonable price of sixty-three dollars, plus tax, a piece. But even so, I wouldn't want to sacrifice Willow, she's my friend.

She's my friend and she's broken.

Tara was my friend and she's ruined.

They told me that as a human I had to accept that sometimes people just died.

But I'm not human anymore.

Vengeance can be sweet; vengeance can be just; vengeance can make everything right.

It's all so easy. I don't know why I ever let them tell me being mortal was so wonderful. This, this is real power, real friendship, real love.

It takes but a moment. The whiny voice of that other one, the blond who ran away with Jonathan. 'I wish Warren was still alive.' Somebody really should tell him to be careful what he wishes for, because sometimes I'll answer.

"Wish granted."

A little jet pack malfunction, a long time in prison, but Warren is still alive.

More importantly, so is Tara.

I just wish I could tell them. What I'd done; why I'd done it. But I can't, that's my punishment. Who knew D'hoffran would be such a stickler for rules? Surely bending the timeline to help your friends should be a perk of the job? I think the G'narl demon was right, we should start our own union and demand better recognition for lower level demons and minions of the highest ranks.

Oh well, enough of dwelling on past wishes, Tara's invited me over to the Summers' house for a post-trio party. I think I'll brink punch.

The End

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