Disclaimer: The characters depicted in this story are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I am just borrowing them.

All the little Pieces

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You sit in your chair, staring out into space. You have been doing that for what feels like hours. You tell yourself that you are trying to collect your thoughts. You are trying to make this letter perfect. But how long does that take?  Again, you are stalling.You stare at the blank piece of paper, and sigh. It is not going to get any better. You begin to write:

" Dear Willow,

          I know I usually only write about once a month or so, to keep in touch. To see how things are with you. And that this letter is early. But, I have been thinking over my life a lot, lately. Thinking about how it has been, and how it might be. And I wanted to talk it over with you, my closest and dearest friend. It's not as good as face to face, but since I am here in Chicago, and you are in San Francisco, this is the next best thing. I guess I could call you; I still have your number that you gave me back when you moved there. But I don't think I can convey what I want to say adequately on the phone, so I am writing this letter to you instead.

          Don't be concerned. All is well out here. I am still working at that little law firm as a receptionist. The pay is decent, and it sure beats trying to wash the grease out of your hair every night. They are nice people, and treat me well. It is nice to not have to deal with the leers of the customers, or pinches on the bottom. The clients here are subtler about it, anyway . Ha. Ha.

          Anyway, why I am writing. I guess what I am trying to do is justify why I have done what I have done. And come to a decision about how my life should go from here. It hasn't been easy for me to go over my life, take stock of my actions. You know me; so not the deep thinker type. But I have lately been unsatisfied with how my life is going; how I have no direction, but have been just drifting along. I guess maybe that is why for the past two years or so, I have been doing exactly that. Drifting along. Going from place to place; trying to find somewhere I could call home.

          Who am I kidding here? I am lying to myself again, and I swore I wouldn't do that. I can't settle on a place because anywhere I am you're not there. Wherever you are, that is where home is. Anywhere without you isn't home. It is just a place. I place where I am now, and probably won't be tomorrow. I haven't been trying to find myself, my place in this world. I have been running from myself, and trying to hide from the truth.

          You remember back two years ago. After we defeated the First? After we got all the girls taken care of , and back home. After Dawn went to college, and you and Kennedy decided to move to San Francisco? How you invited me along, saying there was plenty of room? And I made some excuse about wanting to " explore my options? Find my meaning in life, what I am supposed to do?" That was a lie, a big fat lie. I wasn't trying to do any of that. I was trying to hide again; dodge things again; run away again like I always do when it comes to this issue.

          I was jealous, Will. There is no other word for it, no other excuse for it. I was jealous. Of Kennedy. Of what she had. She had you. I can finally admit it to myself, and to you. I tried to like her Will, I really, really tried to like her. For your sake. I knew she made you happy, and I should have been happy for you, if I were any kind of friend. But I couldn't. I just couldn't do it. I was so selfish and mean hearted; I am really ashamed of  myself. But I knew if I came to San Francisco with you, there would be tension between Kennedy and me. And I knew you would side with her. I might lose you; lose your friendship. And I clung to that. So, instead of facing the truth about how I felt, I ran away.

And then last year, when Kennedy left you, I still didn't come. I didn't come to you, as any friend should, to comfort you. I read your letters, and I felt your pain. And still I didn't come. I ran away. Again

          And I kept running. Going from place to place, trying to deny what I knew to be true. Trying to forget what I felt about you. Know what? I've found the faster you run and the farther you run from something, the closer it gets. I can't duck the truth anymore, Will. I can't hide anymore. I am tired of running . So, here it is Will. The truth.

          I love you Will. With all my heart, with all my soul. With everything I have, and everything I don't have. I love you.

          I think I have loved you since the first day I met you. I remember this sweet, shy, beautiful redhead. With the gorgeous emerald colored eyes. Who was so cute when she became flustered and would babble on and on. How her soft sweet smile would make my heart go all thumpy and gooey. How when she held my hand, or touched my arm,  I would get little chills of excitement. 

          I am so evil. Some of my best times were some of  your worst times. Because it gave me an excuse to hold you, to rock you in my arms, to comfort you. And I could deny that there was anything to it but being a friend. But it wasn't the truth. When Oz left you, and you moved in with me in the dorm, I was secretly so happy. I had you all to myself. I didn't have to share you. I would get up early in the mornings, and watch you sleep. You were so sweet , so beautiful. I couldn't help it. And I am ashamed, so ashamed I used you like that. When you found Tara, and moved away, my heart fell. But you looked so happy, and I wanted you to be happy. And Tara was such a sweet loving girl, that I accepted her like a sister. But I wasn't happy.

          Will, I miss you so much. My heart aches for you. I want to hold you close to me. I want to kiss you, and touch you. I want get lost in your beautiful eyes again. I want to make sweet love to you, be part of you. Of your life. I only hope I am not too late. I only hope that you can forgive me for being such a fool. I looked for love everywhere but it was right there,  right in front of me all the time. Only I was too scared to admit it.

          I have watched all the little pieces of my life drift away. Giles and Xander, Angel and Riley, My mom and even Dawn. They have been pieces of my life, but they are not my life. I will always feel some affection for them. But YOU are my life. YOU are the one I love.

          So, there it is Will. There is my confession. I know I can't expect for you to feel for me as I do for you. I know that no magic is powerful enough to make you truly love me. All I ask is that you examine your feelings for me. If even one tiny spark of affection for me is in you, that will be enough. Even if you don't want me, don't love me, I can live with myself now that I have finally told you the truth. If you can find it in your heart to forgive me for waiting so long to be truthful with you, I will be eternally grateful.

I love you Willow, and I always will

Buffy."

You  read over the letter. It really isn't enough. It doesn't begin to say what is in your heart. But it is the best you can do. For a brief moment you hesitate. Should you really do this? Should you mail this letter? Or just put it away? But then you find your resolve. You put it in the envelope, seal it  and address it. You get your coat, and take the letter with you, to mail in the first mailbox you come to.

The weeks pass. With each passing day, your hope dies a little. You fear that you have waited too long, that Willow doesn't feel the same way that you do. You go through the motions at work. Your only excitement comes at the end of the day, when you can check your mail. You eagerly look for a letter. A response to your letter. Any response would be better than nothing. But none comes. You sigh, and go inside. And you do it over again and again, day after day.

And now it is Friday. One of the people at work invites you out to a club, but you don't feel like it. You make polite excuses, and take the train home. You check your mail, and still no letter. You go inside, and wonder what you will do tonight. Maybe listen to some music, maybe read. Maybe watch TV. It doesn't matter. None of it really does.

As you are walking towards the living room, a small knock comes on the door." Just a minute" you call, a little irritated. You wonder who it can be, because you aren't expecting anyone, and you are not all that close to your neighbors. Just a nodding acquaintance. You head for the door, and as your hand touches the knob, your "slayer" sense goes off. You know somehow, if you open that door, your life is going to change.

You open the door, and she is there. Willow. All bundled up against the cold. Her red hair peeking out from under her cap. Her soft green eyes looking at you. A half smile, a hopeful smile, on her face.

And all of a sudden she is in your arms.  And you are laughing, and crying. And she is laughing, and crying. And you are kissing her all over her face. And she is kissing you back. And you are cold because you had hung up your coat. And you don't care. Because you are warm in her arms.

And she is whispering in your ear, as you hug her tightly to you, " I love you Buffy. I love you too. And I miss you. Please come home"

And you hold on to her, like your very life depends on it.

And it does.

- fin -