TITLE: Heaven's Eyes
RATING: G
SPOILERS: Lately, it's been through "The Gift"
DISCLAIMER: I owe none of these wonderful and dedicated characters - they are all the property of Joss Whedon.
DEDICATION: To the Mistress Rhi-Rhi and my favorite Hitwoman :)

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...I never thought you were a fairweather friend,
you never let me down, you're true to the end...
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"I knew her when she first came to Sunnydale. I didn't really think that I'd become her best friend. I thought we came from totally different worlds. You know, her in her popular world because of how pretty and up-to-date she was and me in my small world of keeping mainly to myself. I was really, really shy. And she came to ME."

A smile spread across the redhead's lips as she stood in front of the small crowd.

"I remember hearing about her 'cause here in Sunnydale, new girl was big. I was at the water fountain when I saw her with Cordelia." She looked over at the former beauty queen who gave Willow her full attention. Man, how things had changed. "And conclusions were there so I jumped. But I was wrong. 'Cause she didn't show anything against me. She didn't mind the loser status that came with me during that time and beyond. She learned to like just me. Through the good and the bad, she was there. She helped me in those small times where the end of the world wasn't looming. The little things like picking out an outfit, bringing myself to stand in front of the class to do a report... to expand myself in the magic thing. She was there. She was my best friend." Her throat constricted as a breeze blew through her short, red hair. "She still is. But... I just don't know what I'm gonna do without her here."

She held back the tears staring absently at the grass below her. With a shake of her head, she left went back into the crowd, not able to handle it anymore...

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...You're in the darkest hour, when all was lost
Somehow you left the light on,
You faced the wrong and showed the world a thing or two
Stood up for me, for you...
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"Um, I mean, where to start?" came Xander Harris' voice. He fisted the piece of paper in his hand, trying to stay light. He HAD to. "I'm with the Willster over there - I knew about her when she first got here. Actually, my best friend Jesse told me about her. But I already knew. Because I set my eyes on her and just fell in love. Okay, so it was because of the looks thing. But color me crazy when I fell for everything she was inside, too. Even more so than the outside." He rocked on his heels a moment. "She was more than just a girl to me, more than just a friend. I don't mean in the romantic sense though I'm sure most of you know I didn't really ignore that route."

He took a deep breath. "She was more than just my hero. But she is my hero. I told her one time. I told her whenever I was feeling scared, that I thought about her and the things she does. She puts a lot of herself into us, and it's hard to ignore. You can't help but fight alongside her, pretend you were the most heroic person ever, because she made you feel that way. Even though you just knew she held that title. No one on this planet could be given that title except for her." He let out a bitter chuckle. "We've had our bouts, true. Right now, though, it doesn't matter who was right or wrong." He wiped the tears that began to fall from his eyes. "Right now I just lost one of my best friends. And I hope she knew I loved her." He sniffled, feeling slightly embarrassed.

But he was done...

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...I still remember the things that you said,
I keep your words alive, I could never forget...
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"Uh, I-I loved my sister," Dawn Summers began. "I mean, really. I found out she wasn't really my sister not too long ago. But it didn't matter. Because I still love her so much." The tears came quickly, but she continued on. "I was... I was the last person she spoke to before she... passed away. She told me to be strong, to live for her 'cause it's hard to live in this world. And-and some people thought that maybe she gave up, but she didn't. She gave up herself so that the rest of us could live. And I wanna live for her. She was the only family I had before my mom..." She couldn't finish the sentence.

Her eyes met with Willow's and Xander's, their own eyes filling with tears and Dawn knew she had to keep going.

"She took care of me. She annoyed me. But she took care of me so much. And n-no matter what, I'll always remember what she told me. I want to hold onto the words because they're all I have left of my sister. She told me to be brave, and I will. I promise."

With that, the youngest Summers girl returned to the group...

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...'Cause in the final hour you made me proud.
So proud that I could know you,
You told the world it's time that they believed in you,
You stood for right and truth...
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"I suppose I may be the only one who has had a different relationship with her," Rupert Giles said, his hands in his pockets, brows knitted in intense concentration. "I came to her as a guide, and nothing but." He smiled a little. "My God how much I thought she was going to be a handful. Well, I wasn't wrong, that was for sure." He got some laughter from the group.

But he sombered up quickly. "I am so proud of her. I never set out to replace her father nor her mother. But she felt so much like the daughter I never had. A daughter that I saw grow before my eyes from a very stubborn, impuslive teenager to a still stubborn but very mature, very courageous young woman. Unfortuantely, she had to grow up fast. And the growing pains she felt were probably much harsher than any other teenager's." He shook his head. "No, life was not good to her in many ways. But it did come with who she was. And many a times I wanted to take her away from it all, even if I drilled in how important duty was. Yet, she took life as best she could, tried to find the happiness in it despite the darkness that surrounded her constantly."

He let out a sad chuckle. "I love her, dearly. And the world doesn't even know how much of a loss they have at the moment." He met everyone else's eyes. "But we do. And I think that is more important than anything."

He stared down of the coffin of Buffy Summers. "I think she made us all proud."

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...Some say it wasn't worth the things we went through,
I say it ain't worth losing you,
I hope you know how much you've changed all our lives,
Someday you'll see if only through heaven's eyes....
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--END---

NOTE: Song, "If Only Through Heaven's Eyes" do belong to those boys of 'N Sync, but don't hold that against me :)