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Title: Saturday
Author: CGB
Category: BTVS B, T.
Rating: PG
Archive: Sure
Spoilers: Season 5 on.
Disclaimer: Grrr Arrgh.
Summary: In an alternative future where Willow is dead, Tara and Buffy wallow in memories.
Acknowledgements: I'm calling this the "Everyone Says I Love You" Challenge. Elizabeth M-for-Miss-Edith Barr and I had yet to put the words "I love you, love you too" into a fic. Feeling this was a bit remiss of us, Liz challenged me to put the words in a fic with a pair she had chosen. She's a very evil woman, so she gave me Buffy and Tara. This is the result.

We've taken to spending Saturday afternoons sitting on the porch steps, Tara and I. Willow wrote 'Wiccan' rather than 'Jewish'under 'religion' on her census form but we remember her on the Sabbath. It feels right.

We talk. We remember our losses. Those we've lost and those who are lost to us. We talk about Xander and Anya who finally moved away last year and send us presents on our birthdays, Giles who still calls every other day, Faith's pretty face going sour in jail, Angel who could be dead for all I know, my mom, Willow...

Dawn stands in the doorway and admonishes us for wallowing and maybe she's right but it feels good -these afternoons in the sun, before the evening comes and we go inside again because some things remain the same even if others don't - it feels good because it's promise that we won't forget.

It's been two years but Tara still doesn't smile much.

She says that everyday feels like the last and she's been saying that since Willow died. Sometimes there are signs, though. I took her to the mall yesterday and she bought a turquoise sweater that she's wearing today. She wore black to Willow's funeral and she's worn nothing brighter than a deep maroon since. There are signs sometimes that she will heal and she'll move on but for now this is enough. To have her here. To be alone together.

At night we patrol and keep watch for the end of the world. Faith is in jail and one of us will have to die before they send someone to take my job so I keep patrolling and wondering what happens to old slayers when they retire. I've never asked but I know that the answer is they don't. They never get that far.

They tell me Faith could be out in two years if her good behaviour keeps up and I'm glad - for her and for me.

It's not that I expect her to take over, but I want to tell her to look after Dawn and Tara when I go - if I go. There are days when I write long letters telling her everything that should have been said that wasn't but they never get sent. I imagine she does the same because we are slayers and we're all connected somehow and sometimes, when I can't sleep, I can't get her out of my head.

The afternoon drags on slowly and Tara points at the lady with the puppy that walks by while telling me that she thinks Jack Russel's are cute. I smile and nod my head.

I think about how I never expected this, me and Tara being everything that's left. I think about how I once saw my future with Angel, setting up house somewhere, fighting the bad guys by night and sleeping in the warmth of each other by day, and the thought of that young girl who learnt too much too early and who could still be so naïve makes me want to cry.

Tara probably had a similar picture to dream on only in hers, she and Willow live in a magical world of spells and discovery. Together they would solve life's mysteries, together they were a power like mine, defeating evil and banishing darkness. She never expected this, either.

I put my arm around her and she leans her head on my shoulder.

"I love you, you know," I tell her and I see the barest hint of a smile at the corners of her mouth.

"I love you too," she says.

Sometimes Dawn brings us coffee and we watch the sun set together, all three of us and our memories.

There are signs sometimes that we will heal and we'll move on but for now this is enough. To be here. To be alone together.


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