"Willow?"

There was no sound. No feeling. Just…looking into her eyes. In that moment, I could see all the love she held for me, see almost everything she wanted to say that she couldn't. I could see past the love; see the regret, fear…pain.

I fell to my knees the same time she fell, awkwardly catching her in my arms, still unaware of her rapidly slowing heart. I felt something warm on her shirt; on her back, her torso, chest. She felt cold, body sagging. Someone was calling out her name…sobbing it. Was that me?

My hands start shaking, almost violently, eyes flitting from her face to her chest. Blood.

"Baby? Willow, sweetheart; listen to me! Wake up—open your eyes!"

One hand is now caressing her cheek, as if my touch could spark light into the gorgeous green hues I loved to get lost in.

"No…no no no…Willow…Willow, please…"

Nothing was making sense. I was just talking to her, had just hugged her, kissed her. She was in my arms, she was safe. We were together again, everything was finally getting better.

I sat there for an unknown amount of time, holding her, rocking her back and forth, just…crying. No wails, no speaking. No pleas.

At that moment, everything was clear to me…and everything was gone. Though I didn't know how, I knew Willow wasn't there anymore. I hadn't bothered to check how all of the blood was there, and for a little while, I didn't care if anyone else came into the room—I wouldn't have noticed them anyways.

All I knew was that she was gone.

That fact in and of itself caused nightmares to keep me awake at night. It was what I'd been afraid of ever since she got into the dark magicks. I'd been afraid that she might be reckless, that she might go in too deep and I'd never…

But I never imagined this.

I kid myself for a few minutes in thinking she was merely asleep, lying her head on my lap, moving her hair to the side of her face.

My bloodied hands betrayed that hope.

I didn't think of the future, or the past…I don't think I even thought of the present. All I thought was…that she wasn't here. Was I here? Could I still be here? For so long, I'd been but a ghost. I was never really…someone. And now that she was…

It didn't feel right—to live. She wasn't here. I felt…I still feel, to this day…selfish. I should have helped her, done…something, anything, to keep her by my side.

How could I live? How could I move on? Would the Scoobies still want me around? Or would they be mad; blame me for her death?

My mind quickly strays from those thoughts, eyes never once leaving the porcelain face I could never forget.

Her voice…it feels as if she's speaking to me, but I can't hear her all the same. The thought suddenly strikes me that I'll never hear her voice again, and a tear rolls down my cheek and onto hers.

Her laugh, her touch, her jokes, her…my everything…is gone. This time…forever.