Chapter 1

Slowly, the grass stems shifted to make room. The new flower unfolded, pushing the moonlit grass out of its way. It was a sunflower; it towered over the even stretch of graveyard and unfurled its yellow petals, which swayed back and forth, even though there was no wind.

"A whole summer of rehab and all you learned was this? How to grow flowers without light?" Willow started, but kept her balance on the tombstone she was sitting on. She had not heard the footsteps behind her.

"Oh, Faith." She breathed. "What are you doing here?"

"Patrolling." Faith replied, hefting the axe she was carrying. "Blondie took Molly, Annabelle and Kennedy out to Restfield to dust some vamps. So I came here. What are you—oh." She spotted the grave across from where Willow was sitting. There were three weathered pebbles set on top of the headstone. The name on it read 'Tara Mclay'.

"Tara." Willow said, looking down into her lap. The sunflower slipped back into the earth. Faith dropped her gaze from Willow, letting the witch mourn.

"I was the first one to meet her." Faith said quietly after a few minutes. Willow looked up, tears sparkling in her eyes.


"At the Bronze." Faith said. "You came to introduce her to Buffy. Only it wasn't Buffy. It was me. She was…she was nice. I liked her."

"She said you were mean." Faith let out a small laugh.

"Well, I was back then, wasn't I?" Willow shifted a little on the headstone that she was sitting on. Faith moved over to sit beside her. Together they looked down at the grave. "I was the first one to know, too. About you, and about her. You hadn't told me, or your friends, but I knew."

"How?" Willow's voice came out as though she was having trouble forming the words.

"I dunno. I'm not much of a romantic or whatever, but there was something in how you two looked at each other. I dunno." Faith shrugged. She'd been with a lot of guys, but never loved a single one before. Why the hell am I so sad? I hardly knew the chick. Giving her head a little shake, she stood up and waved to Willow, trying to keep her cool, as she so often did. "Well, I gotta go. Vamps to kill, y'know." She lifted her axe over her shoulder and marched off, leaving the redhead alone next to her dead love.

Willow watched Faith as she walked off. She'd always hated Faith. She betrayed them, allied with the Mayor, killed people, threatened Willow herself, fought Buffy and lost, come back only to cause mayhem between Buffy and Riley, left again, gone to prison, broken out and come back. Of all the people to come and help them with the battle for the world, Faith was the last person Willow expected to help, and yet here she was. One more glance at Tara's grave drove all thought of Faith form Willow's mind. She looked up at the stars, imagining Tara's face sparkling down at her. She remembered when she and Tara had lay on the roof, watching the stars, making up names for constellations. Willow tried to find some of them in the stars, but everything was blurred now. Tears trickled form her eyes and down her face in to her ears, tickling them. She looked back down and broke apart; her jeans growing dark spots on them from her tears.

"I told you, more than a year ago." She gasped. "That I would always find you. Always. But I've lost you again, and I can't find you anymore. And now I'm lost! Oh baby, I'm so lost without you! Tara, I can't find you anymore! I can't even find myself!"

She dropped off the headstone and fell to her knees on top of Tara's grave. She stretched out her hands and placed her palms on Tara's cold gravestone, wishing she could feel the warmth of Tara's skin. Slumping sideways, she let the tears flow without trying to stop them. Laying six feet above the empty shell of her girlfriend, Willow closed her eyes, until the painful world fell away.