Chapter One: Seeing Her Again

Drifting through the darkness, Willow was surprised to find the world was so quiet. No activity of any kind seemed to be going on. Few vampires were hunting, most humans were still in doors, and Willow was feeling restless. She knew that something bad was about to happen, but couldn't figure out what kind of apocalypse was going to coming.

Watching the few people drift through the streets, Willow frowned as she felt something inside her draw her to a house on the corner of the street. She could feel her soul drawn here and looked at the unfamiliar building before her. Frowning, Willow looked into the window of the home to see a family sitting down for dinner.

She watched as they bowed their heads in prayer. Watched as they started eating and talking silently to one another. Her eyes traveled over each one of the faces, until Willow stiffened at the familiar sight of a blond with her head still bowed as though in prayer, her hair covering her face.

Gasping, Willow stared at the girl, willing her to lift her head so she could see her face. Wanting to look upon the familiar face that she knew would be hidden behind the golden locks. Watching her carefully, Willow awaited for any sign that this was who she was waiting for. She wanted to see the face that she had missed for so long, but part of her knew that this wasn't the time.

Stepping back into the shadows, Willow turned her back on the family and headed back to her own house, knowing better than to give into what she felt. She felt her heart restart inside her chest, knowing with everything she was that Tara was back. She was finally back.

Walking though her front door, Willow looked at the darkness she had surrounded herself with since the death of her friends. She was surprised with how little she let herself see the light of day, no longer letting the sun touch her pale skin.

"Willow?" The sound of the familiar voice behind her caught her attention as Willow turned to face Angel and Spike.

"What's got your knickers in a twist, Red?" Spike asked, taking a drag from his cigarette as he noticed the change in the witch.

Willow frowned at the former platinum haired vampire, but let the statement go, knowing Spike was just being Spike. Turning to the dark haired vampire, Willow took a deep breath before speaking. "She's back," she whispered, her voice breaking slightly at the strangeness of feeling Tara again. "She's back."

Angel frowned at Willow's words before stepping towards her. "Are you sure?"

"Yes. I saw her. She was eating dinner with her family. Something drew me to her house. As soon as I saw her, I knew it was her. I should have known it was her drawing me there," Willow said, her voice still barely a whisper.

Spike shrugged. "So your bird's back? Shouldn't that be good news?"

"Normally it would be, but it's Tara. She was so good. The light in the darkness. And know here I am, covered in darkness, and I don't know what to do. If she had known this side of me first, she would never have given me half a chance. But she didn't. She knew me, the real me. Now here we are again, and she doesn't know Willow. She's just going to see the Darkness. The darkness that consumed me so many times. What if she can't see past this? What if she only see's the evil and doesn't look for the good like she use to? She may not even love me this time around," Willow said, surprising the two vampires before her. "What?" she asked, noticing the look of confusion on both of their faces.

"Haven't heard you babble in over a century, Red. It's a little surprising to hear it now."

Thinking back on everything she had said, Willow smiled slightly. "She's already effecting me, and we haven't even talked yet." Lifting her head to look at Angel, Willow looked at her best friend's first love. "What would you do?"

"If it was Buffy?" Angel asked, waiting for Willow to nod. "I'd do what I can to win her back. I lost my chance when I left for LA and again when I killed Giles as Angelus. But if she was back, I'd prove to her we belonged together."

Willow nodded, closing her eyes as she tried to calm her nerves. "I can't remember the last time I felt like this," she muttered.

"That's what happens when your immortal, Red. You forget what some emotions feel like until they come out of nowhere."

Willow closed her black eyes and glanced at the now brown haired vampire. "You're right. Surprisingly Spike, your actually right."

Spike frowned at Willow's comment before looking at Angel. "How can we help?" Angel asked, knowing Willow would need them if she was ever going to be at peace again.

"I don't know." Whispering the statement, Willow turned from them and walked up the stairs to her room. Closing her eyes, she sat down on the edge of her bed, letting her thoughts break through her.

Seeing a familiar picture on her nightstand. Willow reached over and picked it up. Looking down at the smiling faces of herself, Xander, and Buffy, Willow frowned as she felt sadness over come her once more. "I need you, Buffy," Willow whispered, looking down at the picture in her hands. "I don't think I can do this alone. I always thought that she'd come back when you were still here, but she didn't. And now, I don't even have you here to help me find my way. I need you more than I ever realized." As a bloody looking tear slid down Willow's cheek, Willow wiped it away before closing her eyes. "I need my best friend to help me."

"Willow?" Lifting her head, Willow saw Angel standing in her doorway and quickly wiped another bloody tear from her cheek.

"I'm okay," she whispered, looking away from him.

Ignoring her comment, Angel walked into the room and gently rested his hand on her shoulder. "She will love you," Angel said, unsure of how to convince Willow what he wasn't even positive about.

"You don't know that, Angel. I'm not the Willow she once loved. I'm not even close to being that Willow anymore."

"But a part of you is still Willow. You still have the good heart, and the babbling came back," Angel pointed out, hoping to make her smile.

"The Willow she fell in love with was full of good. She was an innocent, who fought evil. She wasn't a murderer," Willow reminded him, turning to face him. "Tara couldn't love someone that took a human life."

"Even if that human had murdered her?"

"Angel, she could never forgive me for that. She could never forgive me for killing someone, nor nearly destroying the world."

"That wasn't you," Angel said, hating seeing her punish herself.

"Yes it was. I was in control when I killed Warren," Willow responded, looking away.

"But not when you tried to destroy the world," Angel pointed out, watching her.

"Yes I was," Willow said, surprising Angel. "Yes I was."