Terminal Conversations

Disclaimer: Joss is boss; therefore Joss owns 'em, not me.

AN: A dialogue piece. One character's dialogue uses quotation marks, the other's isn't. Enjoy.

So, you're really going then?

"Goddess, what are you doing here?"

I thought I'd see you off.

"Oh."

Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you.

"I didn't hear you come over. I was kind of lost in thought."

Sorry, again.

"That's okay, but wh-what are you doing here?"

I wanted to see you one more time. Before you left, I mean.

"Oh."

Yeah, seems silly now. I shouldn't have come.

"Never. Never think that I wouldn't want to see you. You, uh, look good. Pale, really pale actually. I think you're paler than me now. But you look better. Red wasn't your colour."

And black wasn't yours. You look…well, you look better than you did, before…

"Thanks. I'm…I guess you could say I'm dealing with everything that's happened."

Look, I know how hard this must be for you, seeing me–

"No, it's good to see you. Really, I'm…I'm glad you came. It means a lot…I'm sorry about everything, about what happened…"

You don't have to apologize, it wasn't your fault.

"That's your opinion, but try telling that to everyone else, to everyone who was hurt…because of me."

You're bitter.

"Why wouldn't I be? I'm not mad at you, I could never be mad at you. I'm just mad at everything else. People, the world, fate; I'm mad that things happened they way they did. I'm mad that everything was ripped to shreds with me left standing in the center of it all. I'm mad at what happened to you, what he did to you. I'm mad that I lost control. It all still hurts."

It hurts me, too. And I think I'm the one who drew the short end of the stick.

"Yeah…but I'm the one that has to live with it."

It will get easier. I think...I think the pain and guilt will always be there. But it may get easier to deal with, if you let it.

"That's what we're going to find out anyway. A few more minutes and I'll be off to serve my punishment."

You think of it as a punishment? They're willing to try to help you; they know what they're doing and want to help you recover from all of this.

"They've never dealt with anything like me before. I doubt they'll be able to help, not now. It's too late now."

But you're still going, aren't you?

"I'm going, but I don't think it will help. I'm going because I know I can't stay here. Too many memories. Good ones, lots of good ones, but now there are too many bad ones to overpower them. Leaving is my own form of sentencing for my actions. I was bad, and I need to be punished. It's simple, three-year old logic. The others, I guess they don't see it that way, but I do. I need to do this. Whether it works or not, I need to repent. But I doubt it will work. I think it will just be pure torture. Not that that's a bad thing. What's one more bit of agony to go along with everything else. I mean–"

You're babbling.

"Sorry."

You don't have to apologise. I love hearing you babble. I would listen to you babble on about anything, anything in the world, if it meant we could be together.

"But we can't. Fate's seen to that. That's why I'm going. I can't stay here and be reminded of what was taken from me."

I know. But it still hurts, knowing your leaving. I understand why you have to go, and I'm proud you're finally doing something to make up for all this, but I can't believe you won't be here for the funeral.

"That wasn't my choice. I've…well, I've kind of been in my own dark place the last few days. Once it was all over, I closed off. After everything that happened, after you… I haven't really been aware of what's been going on. The pain is still overwhelming, digging deeper and deeper into me. So the arrangements for the funeral, my leaving, everything, they were all kind of made without me."

I wish you could at least stay for the service. It would mean a lot to me.

"I want to, you have to understand that. I really do. I could just tell Giles I want to catch a later flight. But…I just…I…I don't want to have to…to say goodbye. It will finalize everything. It will hurt too much – start the heartache all over again."

You're talking to me though, aren't you?

"I can't stay, you know that."

Do I?

"Don't, please. Just don't. I have to do this. There's no other way. I don't have any other options."

Answer this for me then. You're agreeing to leave, agreeing to seek help you don't believe will work, but there's more to it than that, isn't there? Who are you running from, truly? Me, the others, who?

"Myself."

How do you figure that?

"I'm…I'm dangerous. It's not safe if I stay here. It's not safe for anyone. Whether this actually works or not, I shouldn't stay here and put the others at risk of me losing control again. I need to get better."

I'm glad you realise that…now.

"No, please–"

It's okay. I understand what happened. I just wish you'd realized how dangerous it was getting sooner, before everything started to fall apart.

"I never wanted this to happen."

I know. No, please, don't cry. You've been doing too much of that lately.

"Ugh, I'm like a lawn sprinkler with a broken valve, the water won't turn off. I…I can't stop."

Yes, you can. And I'm not just talking about the tears. You can get better. Although I wish you wouldn't use your sleeve; you don't have any tissues?

"Not with me…I've gone through so many these last few days. I've rubbed my face raw."

I can see. And your eyes are all red and puffy.

"Well, that's what happens when…when everything you lived for falls apart before your eyes."

Maybe you should ask someone for a tissue, I don't like seeing you cry.

"Excuse me, Miss? Do you have…thank you."

That's better. I don't see Giles anywhere; I thought he was leaving with you.

"He went to go find a washroom before we left. I don't think he wanted to use the one on-board."

Ah. Well, that means something. He trusts you enough to leave you alone for a few minutes.

"Uh, thanks."

S-Sorry. That was rude. I…I sh-shouldn't have said anything.

"It's okay. You were right. He thinks I'm stable, for the moment. Once we get there though, I have no idea if the minimal control I have will slip."

I have faith in you though. I always have, you've always been strong.

"Thanks."

I can see Giles, and he's back just in time too. They're boarding. I guess…I guess you have to go now.

"Yeah. Uh, my legs are stiff; I've been sitting for too long."

I wish you didn't have to go. I wish you could stay here, with me. I could use some company.

"I can't. This, this might be the only way for me to get better. I have to try."

If only you'd thought of it sooner. Then maybe none of this would have happened.

"I'm so sorry."

I know you are, and I want you to know that I don't blame you. What happened, it wasn't your fault. I'm glad you're trying to get better. This is a good step.

"But I'm so scared. I've got this…this darkness inside me now. What if it won't leave? What if they can't help me?"

I believe in you.

"What if that isn't enough?"

It isn't; my belief in you won't be enough. Honey, to get better, you need to believe in yourself too. If you're not committed to this, then no matter how much they try to help you, you won't recover properly. You have to let yourself heal.

"I don't want to go. I know I have to, but I don't want to. I don't want to say goodbye again."

Then we agree on something, because I don't want you to go either. But we both know you need this.

"You, me, and everyone else."

What do you mean?

"I can't stand the way they look at me now. They pity me, because of what's happened. They're walking on eggshells around me, because they know one simple thing will start the waterworks again. But at the same time, there's just so much fear in their eyes. They look at me, and it's like they're afraid something dark will come out at them again."

Do you blame them?

"That hurt. Just dig the knife a little deeper."

I'm s-sorry, but it's true. You…you sca-scared them. None of them have ever seen you lose it like that; I've never seen you lose it like that. I know it hurts, but they're scared of you. They, well, in a way…they…they h-have every right to be.

"Yeah."

But think of it this way; would you like it if they forgave you, just like that? How would you feel if they just pretended nothing bad happened?

"They shouldn't forgive me. I did something horrible. Something that shouldn't be forgiven."

No, I didn't mean it like that. You deserve forgiveness, of course you do. You were justified in your actions.

"Was I?"

Yes. What you did was out of love. It was twisted, yes, a loss of control, desperate vengeance. But it was out of love. You deserve redemption, just like anyone else. But you need to work for it, that's what I mean. This, leaving this place, will be your way of making up for what happened. You think of it as punishment, but I see it as your path to making up for what's happened. A way for you to try to set things right again.

"I should go."

Yeah, the plane won't wait for anyone.

"I hate this. My parents travelled all the time when I was younger. I went with them a few times, but I always hated this part. The vulnerability you feel when you're trapped inside that chunk of metal with wings attached."

You'll be fine.

"That's the final boarding call. Giles is over there, waiting for me to walk away from this stupid row of airport terminal chairs."

They really aren't that comfortable, are they? Considering people end up sleeping in them all the time, they could make a bit more of an effort.

"I guess they figure, 'why waste money on terminal chairs? People only sit in them for a few hours before they've gone somewhere else.'"

Terminal things can be good sometimes though, important. Sometimes…sometimes people have desperately needed conversations in airport terminals.

"They could have picked a better name though. Terminal. Like it's final. When really it's just the pause you take in going from one place to the next."

Part of it is final though, the goodbye part. For some people, they say goodbye and never look back.

"I'll come back. I just need to get better first. I promise I'll come back. I could never leave you."

I left you though.

"No, you were taken. There's a difference. And even though we're apart now, we're still together, right?"

Yes, always.

"So this isn't really a goodbye then?"

If you don't want it to be, then no, it isn't. Oh, you're crying again.

"Yeah, I keep doing that. It's silly, really. If it's not a goodbye then I shouldn't be crying."

Not a goodbye.

"Okay, I'm…I guess I'm going now."

You're still standing here.

"Yeah."

You're going to give Giles a heart attack if you don't start moving. He probably thinks your backing out.

"I'm not. I know I have to do this. Okay, well…what do we say if this isn't a goodbye?"

I'm not sure. Something from the heart I guess.

"I love you, forever and always."

Fin.