DISCLAIMER: The great one JOSS owns them not me and not profit will be made.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Gift
By Bynx


Willow watches as Buffy walks away toward a classroom with the two watchers. She feels Oz with her as they follow behind in a path towards the exit. She couldn't believe it. Buffy had traded the box for her. She could have stopped the Ascension and instead she chose her, Willow, over all those other lives that would have been saved. She had hugged her tight and quietly pushed her hair away from her face before following Wesley and Giles when they had asked to speak with her alone. Of course, she had pulled some pages from the book, but she knew that right now Buffy was in trouble.

"Willow, are you alright?" Oz squeezes her shoulder.

"Hmmm…oh yeah…I…I need to know what's going on…" she looks at Oz trying to will him away, "I NEED to…do this alone."

"I…yeah…alone…well, I guess I get that…" Oz simply stares at her not comprehending at all, but since when did that ever make a difference when it came to Willow and Buffy. He just knew there was some relationships you can't come in between, "You have to look out for B-buffy…right." He pushes his hands into his pockets.

"I…don't…" she starts.

"Hey…big happenings…all mixed…got it." He kisses her on the cheek and smiles a sad almost knowing smile and turns and walks away.

"I'm sorry," Willow whispers to herself.

Willow creeps up to classroom window where they have led Buffy to for their 'talk'. It worries her since rarely are there talks that don't include them all. She peeks through the small window not wanting to be seen. She sees Buffy leaning against the windowsill as Wesley paces. Giles is holding his glasses and pinching the bridge of his nose. Yep, not a good type talk at all. She strains to listen.

"Just what were you thinking?!" Wes waves his hands in the air, "We had him. We could have unequivocally halted his ascension…" he stops pacing looking at Giles, "Don't you want to say anything here Giles?!"

"She did what she thought she had to…" he starts.

"Oh, save one life not multitudes? She had to give him the box for one life versus millions? I see she thought she had to do that…" Wesley resumes pacing.

Willow watches as Giles shakes his head, "Wesley, she told us what she was doing before we went there. Did you think she was going to change her mind?"

"YES, I thought you would speak up…I thought she would see the error of trading one life for billions…"

Willow knows Giles is disappointed about losing the box, but would he ever question Buffy about saving one of them? She didn't think so, but Wesley hadn't been involved with them for that long.

"So, what exactly were you thinking?! Surely, you know one life isn't worth the entire world… I am fond of your little friend too, but not even…"

"Don't Wes…" Buffy hisses.

"I'm sorry, but not even Willow is worth letting the Mayor…"

Wes didn't get to finish as Willow watches stunned as Buffy uncoils fast as a leopard grabbing Wes by the throat and tossing him up against a shelf of class aids knocking it over.

"Shut the Fuck Up! Don't you ever … ever fucking say that about her!" Buffy picks the slight British man up slamming him to the desk and holding him down to it by his throat, "Don't ever try to tell me or anyone what Willow is worth or not worth…You have no Fucking clue!"

Willow stands up straight looking in the window in absolute shock as Buffy almost crushes the watcher. Giles quickly moves up to the desk.

"Buffy, please let him go…You'll kill him…please…he's ignorant, but don't do this…let him go," he reasons.

Buffy eases up on him and Willow hears him choking trying to breathe. She sees Buffy start heaving in air like she can't breathe, but then she realizes Buffy is crying.

"You… you d-don't understand!" she screams at them both as the tears run down her cheeks.

"You're right, Buffy. We don't understand." Giles speaks while Wes tries to recover, "I knew what you were going to do, but even I have to wonder…you know I care deeply for all of you including Willow, but even she wanted you to sacrifice her to stop the Mayor..I don't understand how you could decide to save her over the world…I'm sorry." Giles is sincere, "I know it's Willow…one of us…but versus the entire world?"

"She's m-my world!" Buffy yells backing away from the desk, "Y-you w-want me here to fight evil right?!…RIGHT?!" She waits.

"Yes, of course…" Giles begins, "But…"

"NO! No buts…if I let her die or any of you let her die to save anything then… then my world ends…I would have no reason to fight! Do you fucking understand now?! I love her! I love Willow and she's worth more than your fucking slayer!" She pounds her fist into her own chest, "She's worth more than a fucking mystical box… more than this fucking piece of shit world. Without her, the world, my world, wouldn't matter…wouldn't exist…I wouldn't care if it went to hell, because without her it would already be hell!" She starts sobbing, "So… don't ever…f-fucking tell me what she's w-worth!" She falls to her knees her face in her hands.

Willow slides down the wall practically collapsing to the floor. She feels the tears tracking down her face. She sits stunned and trembling. 'Buffy loves me…Buffy loves me…she saved me, because she loves me…I'm her world?!' Her mind reels.

Inside the classroom, Giles cautiously walks over to the shaken slayer. He touches her shoulder, but she flinches away.

"We all love Willow…" Giles tries to calm her.

"NO!" She cries out, "I…You don't get it…you fucking English twit…I'm in love with her!" She looks in his eyes; see the recognition of her words and stands backing away from him.

Outside in the hall, Willow hears Buffy's last outburst and is even more shocked. She is about to leave her hiding spot when the slayer bursts through the double doors and runs at full speed out the school. Willow watches in awe of her speed as she disappears. Giles comes to the doors and stops when he sees Willow. He opens his mouth as if to say something.

"Don't Giles… just don't… I understand, but not now." Willow glares at him.

"Someone needs to go after her and…"

"It shouldn't be you." Willow finishes and walks out after Buffy leaving Giles to look after Wesley.

'I just told Fucking Giles I'm in love with Willow. What was I thinking?!' Buffy screams at herself, 'you weren't…just like you weren't when you saved her…they're right, but that doesn't matter. I wouldn't fight anymore without her so that makes me right…. it wouldn't matter anymore to me…' Buffy answers herself, as she has to finally stop running.

When she stands up straight, she realizes she's at the park. She needs to sit down. Shakily, she makes her way to the swings. She just needs to breathe and take in everything that has happened. She sits down in a swing and kicks the dirt under her feet.

She can feel the tears wanting to come, but she fights them back.

'You did it. There isn't anything that you can do to change it now and you wouldn't anyway.' Her minds supplies, "Yeah, one thing…I wouldn't have told Giles…"

"Wouldn't have told Giles what?" Willow asks from the edge of the light thrown off by the street lamps.

"W-willow?" Buffy squeaks out, "uh…why aren't you with Oz?"

"I had other things to tend to…" she sighs.

"Things better than celebrating your safety with your loved one?" Buffy asks quietly.

"I…I was worried about another loved one." Willow moves closer to the swings.

"Oh…. Um I'm fine…just tired you know.." Buffy looks away.

"I don't believe you." Willow moves to look more directly at Buffy, "See? Resolve face here…I don't believe you."

"I…what do you want Willow?" Buffy stares down at her shoes.

"I want you to tell me what you told Giles?" Willow answers clearly.

"It doesn't matter."

"Bullshit." Buffy looks up at Willow after hearing the curse word escape her lips so easily.

"Willow…really it wasn't important…" Buffy almost pleads.

"Oh, I see…the reason that your watcher had to have a private talk with you…. the reason that Wesley was almost choked to death by the chosen one, and the reason that you saved me and not the entire damned world just doesn't matter anymore?!" She raises her voice as her tirade goes along.

Buffy looks at Willow in astonishment. She has never seen her best friend like this. She has never known Willow to curse or really even to shout very much. Not only that, but she is screaming at her, Buffy, the slayer.

"Don't say that!" Buffy stands up out of the swing grabbing Willow by her upper arms and coming face to face with her, "Don't ever say that! Of course, it is important…" Buffy stops as complete realization of Willow's words sinks in, "You saw…you saw me choke Wesley…" she breathes out.

"Yes, I s-saw…" Willow stammers out as her face cringes in pain from Buffy's grip, "Buffy…my arms."

Buffy instantly releases Willow's arms, but she can see the bruises already starting on her bare upper arms, "Oh God, Wills…I'm sorry…I'm so sorry.." She lightly touches the bruise on one arm, "Of course, it…. y-you matter…"

"Buffy, it matters to me, too… please tell me what you told Giles." Willow pleads.

"I… You heard… you must've…" Buffy starts to tremble.

"Please… tell me…" Willow grabs Buffy's hand that is lightly caressing the bruise on her arm causing Buffy to look up at her. She sees the tears in Buffy's eyes.

"I… I had to save you… I didn't have a choice… nothing would matter without you… n-nothing matters without my Wills…c-cause…oh God Willow…cause I l-love you more than I love this rotting piece of dirt called earth…" she shudders at her own admission, "I love you."

Willow quickly wraps her arms around the failing slayer, "Oh Buffy, me for the world… I…" Willow swallows hard knowing she would have done the same thing for Buffy, "I…the world is so much more important than one…. than m.."

Buffy swiftly lifts her head off of Willow's shoulder and squeezes Willow to her tightly as she captures Willow's lips in a fierce, but loving kiss. She presses their lips together longingly before she traces Willow's bottom lip with the tip of her tongue. Out of instinct, the red head opens her lips granting entrance to Buffy's feasting mouth. Buffy teases Willow's tongue into a sensual dance as she tastes all that she can of the lovely, young woman's sweet mouth. She may only ever have this one kiss and she wants it to be enough to get her through her short life. She feels Willow's arms sneak around her back pressing them impossibly closer. Finally, realizing that they both need to breathe, Buffy reluctantly breaks the kiss releasing her hold on the taller girl. Willow however, doesn't release her hold on the slayer. She touches their foreheads together to keep Buffy in the circle of her arms.

"W-willow, I'm sor…"

"Ssshhh…don't say that… please don't say that…" Willow whispers, "Could you…please hold me again?"

"I… if you want… anything you want, Wills." Buffy encloses her arms around Willow again.

"Thank you." Willow squeezes Buffy to her.

"For what?"

"Oh, maybe for saving my life, again…for standing up for that decision and not second guessing it…for always being there…for one mind-blowing kiss, but mostly for loving me." Willow opens her eyes as she says the last part.

"I have no other choice…you're in my soul." Buffy whispers.

"I love you, Buffy. I want you to know that… I do love you. I don't know what is going to happen now that we don't have the box, but I'll love you through it all if that is what you want." Willow brushes her lips lightly across the slayer's trembling lips.

"I couldn't want anything more… I'm sorry I risked the world, but I'm wouldn't change it for anything… not since I just got to hear you say the thing I have wanted to hear you say for so long…"

In Sunnydale, there isn't anything that goes on that someone doesn't always see. A moment meant to be only for two is seen by a third party. She stands in the darkness unnoticed as the two new lovers entangle themselves in a lover's embrace. She smiles devilishly as she turns and strides away.

'Wonder what the wolf-boy is going to think about that?' She wonders silently. "I guess it doesn't matter really. Enjoy your love while you can 'B'. I know you won't see it as a gift, but it really was… all slayers should have someone to love them before the world ends and now you do." The dark slayer says quietly as she makes her way back to a man that holds all their fates in one book.

The End

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