Chapter 21

Buffy got into detective Brad Willis's home quite easily. The fact that he was a cop and she was able to get in so easily rattled her but she continued onward. She stepped into a dimly lit room with thick blinds over the windows. There attached to life support machines lie Tracy Willis. On a small stand next to the bed, sat a picture of the woman who had some resemblance to Tara but the hair was darker and the facial shape was quite a bit different. The main likenesses were the eyes and the smile, which made Buffy wonder what the larger picture would detail.

As she looked around the room, she saw a photo of Tara and her mother with beaming smiles on their faces. She recalled something about Tracy having snapped a picture of Willow and Tara but here was a family picture of Tara, so why the photo? "It's time to end the madness." A haggard looking detective Willis said as he stepped slowly into the room.

"What's going on here mister Willis?" Buffy questioned with urgency in her voice.

"My ex-wife is the sister of Thomas Maclay. The demon stories that were handed down to Tara's family, well they were partly true only Tracy had that demon and it had to be activated by Tara's death. It was some sort of clause the powers that be put into this entire load of crap to try and stop the evil from coming out in Tracy."

"Did Tracy know that she was evil? I mean I think the answer to that is no but…"

"I tried to warn her but she didn't want to hear it. I tried to help her as best I could but someone from this big law firm got wind of it and set things in motion. From that point, there was nothing that I could do but keep her alive and hope for the best possible outcome." The man's burley frame quivered slightly as he spoke. "I decided that this has to end one way or the other because it is not fair to Tracy. She has suffered her entire life with this curse and now her body is still suffering."

Buffy had nearly made up her mind that Faith was right several times that day but something held her back from that conclusion and she recalled what it was at that split second. When she spoke with Tara before she had awakened, Tara told her that she was attracted to the good qualities of Tracy, the Tracy before she became totally evil. She knew that part of her had an attraction for Tara because Tracy was trying to act like Tara but there was now a possibility that she did not have to act at all. She was part of Tara's family and there had to be some good qualities in there that were similar to how Tara behaved. "I wish that I knew how to fix this sir." Buffy said with tears in her eyes. "I know that Tracy doesn't know me because of the whole body switch thing but…"

"That was Tracy's soul in that body ma'am." Detective Willis interjected. "The evil overtook her the instant that Tara died. Sometimes at night when she'd come home from work, she'd look at me with these sad eyes and I just knew that Tracy was trying to break free but the poor dear couldn't beat the evil that lived within her. Now the curse is broken and she either needs to be laid to eternal rest or given a second chance at living a happy life."

"You don't know how long I've been wanting a chance to live a happy life sir." Buffy said solemnly. "I have died twice for the good of the people and lost many people dear to me. I have done it because it is my calling and I want to help people. The problem is, I've always got the shaft when it came to things like love and happiness." Buffy stood up and looked out the window as she spoke. Afar off in the distance, she could see a star that seemed to shine a little brighter then the rest. "If I have done enough to have one request granted from whomever is in charge out there, let me be at peace and happy for as long as I can here on earth."

As Buffy and detective Willis held hands and she continued to present her case to the powers that be, the real Cordelia Chase appeared before Tara Maclay in a beautiful garden. "Tara I know that you know what is going on. If you decide to return in that body, you will be Tracy Willis being as the souls were merged. There will be no trace of Tara and Willow's love within your memories but you will know the life of Tracy Willis. You will remember all of the bad things that have transpired as well as the good things in her life. Again, I want to stress that you will be leaving Willow totally behind and will not know of your love for her. You have one choice to make Tara and only one thing will be granted to you." Cordelia twinkled her eyes slightly as she spoke to the woman.

"I know that Tracy had developed an interest in Buffy but she couldn't overtake the evil within her. I love Willow with all my heart and don't know that I could leave her without the knowledge that she would truly have the best chance at happiness that she could have with the one that has managed to gain a spot in her heart." Tara stopped speaking and withdrew in her thoughts briefly. "The one choice that I wish to make is for both Willow and Buffy to have what they need to get a shot at happiness and love because they both have lost so much in their lives. They both deserve something good and lasting to come into their lives and a little stability."

"Bravo Tara!" Cordelia clapped her hands together being glad that she had worded her request in the right way, as the energy around them began to crackle.

Meanwhile, Buffy and the detective felt an energy ripple through their hands at the same time that Willow, Harmony and Dawn had felt it. "Tracy!" Brad shouted and jumped to the young woman as her eyes fluttered open.

As the tears flowed down the man's face, Tracy reached a hand out and cuffed his chin. "Uncle Brad I want to thank you for not giving up on me." She said in a hoarse voice as the man handed her a glass of water.

She then turned her gaze to Buffy who was crying as well. "You saved me Buffy," she smiled weakly at the slayer who looked at the floor.

"I don't know what all you remember but you kicked my ass in that building." Buffy said with a small smile on her face.

"No," Tracy said and tried to clear her throat. "I felt a connection to you right away when I met you. I didn't know what it was but out of all those pictures that I was shown by that other slayer, you were the one that I was drawn to. You made me want to fight the evil and I think that it weakened the sorceress part of me. I'm so sorry that I didn't believe you uncle Brad."

"That's not important now Tracy," he said and gave his niece a gentle hug. "What is important is that you are awake and can get all the way better now."

"That's right," Buffy said with a huge smile on her face. She was so happy that she had gone against Faith's advice and pressed this issue. Granted, Faith gave her some sound on Willow's better interest but Buffy was happy that she didn't listen. There still was a possibility that Willow would be hurt by all of this and Buffy knew that is who Faith was trying to look out for. "Tracy, do you know Willow?" Buffy asked and studied the woman's face but found no recognition.

"I heard the name in a letter that Tara sent me once. We communicated infrequently." Tracy said honestly but her facial expression saddened. "I hope that she can forgive what I did to everyone."

"We'll work on that later Tracy." Buffy said and kissed the woman that she hoped would eventually become her love on the cheek. As she stood up to give Brad some time with Tracy, Dawn and Robin burst into the room and Buffy knew that they would want answers straight away.

- - - - -

As Harmony continued her passionate assault on Willow, she felt something rippling within her being. It felt like something was pushing its way in and then a loud explosion went off in her head. The next thing that she knew was Willow and Anya were standing over her with Andrew in the doorway with happy tears in his eyes. She knew that the tears were not for her but the demon and felt glad about that. As she looked at Willow's frantic face, she felt worry and concern for her lover and then realized that she was having all sorts of feelings that she didn't usually have. "She's got a soul!" Anya burst out excitedly and hugged Willow. "I swear it, she has a soul!"

"I love you Willow Rosenberg," Harmony said with a big smile on her face. "I can feel it in here." She pointed to her unbeating heart as Willow embraced her with happy tears. "I don't know how it happened but I feel like me again. I know all of my pre-vampire goals and want to complete them. I feel sad that Delia is gone and I love you Willow." The vampire said and pulled her lover into her arms. "We're going to make it now, I know it for sure. With a soul, I will be more like Angel was minus the curse clause I hope."

"So I was right and Anya is not human. She has decided to be with me and let Xander and Amy do whatever it is that they do in Ohio. Now you get a souled vampire Willow. This is great." Andrew hugged his friend and wiped his eyes. "I just hope that the others will be happy too."

"Andrew, I said that I would be with you if you could learn how to make good orgasms." Anya said and waved him towards the door so that the two women could have some more alone time.

Harmony felt a sharp pain in her head and clutched it. "There are consequences to everything." She heard Cordy's voice say and then saw what was making her head hurt. "Great, I think I'm going to be stuck in your little helping people gig Willow. It appears that they have given me Cordy's old job. I see that Tracy Willis is alive and Buffy is hugging her with a few kisses. Faith and Dani are snoozing on the sofa and Dawnie is deciding to come here."

Willow rubbed her lover's forehead and gave her a kiss. "The souls were merged before they left this plane. That means that Tara did something to help Buffy and myself be happy."

"Tracy looks a little like Tara but not a dead ringer." Harmony said and reached for the Tylenol. "Whatever Tara did for you, I hope that someday she can know how much I owe her for this. My parents are going to be thrilled and if Dawn wants to be with Sarah, we will help them make it work."

"I kinda thought that she would end up with Faith." Willow said as the vampire's kisses grew more aggressive.

"Maybe she decided to go with the lesser of two risks." Harmony chuckled and received a grin from Willow.

"I need to call Buffy tomorrow and apologize for how I left." Willow said as the vampire began to focus on her breasts.

"Whatever you want to do Willow," the vampire said and raised her eyes to meet Willow's. "All's well that ends well and I think that we all got a happy ending this time around."

"I think that you are right and I'm so happy that you can honestly tell me that you love me Harmony." Willow said as the vampire kissed the new tears from her cheeks.

"So am I Willow. I hope that you never have to know what it's like to be void of most emotions the majority of the time. I am so blessed to have been given this chance to feel things and love again. I will not mess it up Willow, I promise you that." The vampire said and the two made love for what they both considered the first time.