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Hours later it seems, and I'm just holding her, still whispering, "I love you." And I do. More than I realized when I was younger. No matter what had happened to us, it was always there. Even if we try to deny it, or hide it, like during the Fluke. But that was in the past. And her hair's back to that beautiful red shade, not all black like before. Her tears were soaking into my shirt, and I was probably bleeding on her outfit, but that didn't matter now. Right now, it was simply a time of comfort and forgiveness. And above all else, love.

I could hear her hiccuping sobs as her crying winded down. Her frame sagged against me, indicating her level of exhaustion. She had been up for hours without a break after all. Running on fury and magick. Now that was gone, and there was just Willow. So frightened and upset. I continued shushing her, and glanced down to see her eyes closing. Yep, definitely tired. Her sobs had died away into the soft sounds of her breathing. I remember when we had sleepovers as kids, and she slept so quietly. Though according to her, and Jesse, I snored loudly. Well, don't know about that. Though Anya did complain about that sometimes, too.

God, I completely screwed things up. But maybe she'll be happy now. See? I can do something right after all. Not so useless maybe. And perhaps... no. Water under the bridge, and we can't go back to that again. Not after everything. Not after what we did to each other. Guess I'm not meant to be with anybody.

I looked down again, and saw her face, still sad, but now slack with sleep. I bent down and gently kissed her forehead. She didn't wake, but her expression relaxed a little. Poor girl. Looks like Fate doesn't want either of us to be happy, does it? Or Buffy. Or Giles. Seems like all our relationships crash and burn.

I shifted Willow into my arms so it was easier to carry her. All the lifting I had been on the job certainly had paid off. Who needs to waste money in a gym? Get a great workout, and get paid for it. Not a bad combo. And it's something else I'm good at it.

So maybe there's hope. Even for us.

I glance up at the sunny sky as I carried her down the hill.

Looks like it's going to be a nice day.

"Hush now, don't you cry
Wipe away the teardrop from your eye
You're lying safe in bed
It was all a bad dream
Spinning in your head
Your mind tricked you to feel the pain
Of someone close to you leaving the game of life
So here it is, another chance
Wide awake you face the day
Your dream is over... or has it just begun?" - Queenscryche, "Silent Lucidity"