TITLE: "One Day"
EMAIL: [email protected]
DISCLAIMER: It all belongs to the Whedon guy next door.
SPOILERS: None, really. RATING: PG
EXTRA: I wrote this after the attack. Some credit to the author of "Little Plastic Castles" because it was after reading that that I decided to post this story. To anyone in NY or DC, and to anyone with family there or on one the planes, my prayers have been with you. To the rest of us, put up a flag, give blood, donate supplies. We've gotta help each other. This whole ordeal can only make us stronger, and remember- it's only a matter of time till everyone who's had a hand in this gets theirs.

Tara shoved her hands deep in the pockets of her sweatshirt and trudged down the shadowy hall. She stopped at a door with a sigh, and eased her way through the doorway. Inside sat the one she loved and all her friends. Family actually, Tara thought, because if family are the ones you go to when you don't want to be alone, then these people were hers.

Willow, as always, was the first to notice her prescence. She had an uncanny way of knowing when Tara was around, even when the blonde tried her best to stay hidden. The redhead thrust a hand over the back of her chair towards Tara, and Tara let herself be pulled down beside her girlfriend. Xander nodded hello as best he could with Anya sniffling at his side. Cordelia and Wesley managed faint smiles and Angel even spared a morose look in her direction.

Tara didn't mind the lack of enthusiam in their welcomes. Everyone's minds were somewhere else. They were all lost at the moment- lost and helpless and falling and burned and torn and unbreathing.

She clenched Willows hand tighter. Under normal circumstances, the girls would've been bruising one another's hands. But it wasn't any other day, was it? Everyone was running on exhileration, and had anger and sadness flowing through their veins. They'd been violated in the worst way, and judging by looks on everyone's face, they were beginning to become mad as hell...

Images of a person freefalling on the screen...head over feet, head over feet, head over feet...Like something from a horror movie...head over feet...helpless, flailing like a rag doll...head over feet...and again and again...and then...

The crunch of Tara's jaw shot through the room. Wesley looked back, buildings and smoke reflecting on his glasses, concerned.

The anchorwoman on the TV continued speaking but she wasn't saying anything anyone wanted to hear.

"I don't understand!" Anya finally burst out. Her words, once freed, cascading like a waterfall, "I don't understand! Joyce died because she was sick. Buffy died because of a demon. People die from all kinds of things, but why do they have to die from each other?" She looked hopeful, "Are you sure they weren't zombies?"

"No. They were human..." Angel replied softly.

"I wouldn't go that far." Wesley mumbled.

Willow pressed her lips to her girlfriend's forehead. Tara realized she was crying; they both were.

Anya pressed on, "But why?"

Xander rubbed his eyes. "Ahn, honey-"

"I've seen Dracula. Lived through an Ascension. Twice! A hellgod-"

"Tell you what Anya, maybe there is something we can do. It might make you feel a little better to do something to help." Tara handed him the bag she'd brought with her and watched as he showed Anya how to hang the flag in the window.

"This can help?" She asked.

"Yeah. I think it will."