Title: "Bringing Her Back."

Author: A.M. Glass

E-Mail: glasswrks@yahoo.com

Copyright: April 2nd, 2000

Rating: 'PG-13'

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox Studios, Mutant Enemy, et al, have something to do with "Buffy The Vampire Slayer". No copyright infringement is intended or inferred.** The story is the sole property of the author.

Author's Note: This hasn't been beta read, so, any mistakes are mine and mine alone. I still don't have Microsoft Word '97 back for this one.

Feedback: It always helps.

She couldn't wait, not really. Everything moved toward this afternoon, that is except for the earlier part of the day. That had moved at a snail's pace. She was meeting her fellow Wiccan later on, and she found that she couldn't keep her mind on anything else. Which hadn't helped during class.

There wasn't that much that she didn't like about her. And she knew that what they had was slowly building into something she felt privileged to be a part of. Walking across campus, with a smile on her face, she headed towards her dorm room, she wanted to get ready.

As she rounded a corner, she stopped dead in her tracks. She blinked a few times, wanting to make sure she was actually seeing what her eyes told her was occurring right in front of her.

'No,' she whispered in her mind. 'Not this.' She had never suspected, not once had it ever crossed her mind that what she was seeing could ever happen. 'Buffy's kissing...' She couldn't even finish the thought. She turned around and ran the other way, pushing past other students as tears streamed down her face.

After what seemed an eternity, she finally slowed down, catching her breath. Looking around, she realized that she was in a wooded glen, with no other signs of life, except a few animals.

'I have to get back,' she thought.

Reversing her direction, she began to walk back, hoping that she would make it out before nightfall.


"Are you sure?" Buffy was asked.

"Oh yeah. You can see it every time you two get together... sparks. I keep wondering when the fireworks are going to go off," Buffy replied.

"And you're okay with this?"

"Does she make you happy?"

"Oh, yes, yes she does."

"Then who am I to knock it," Buffy replied. "If she makes you happy, and you... you do make her happy don't you?"

"I think so," she replied, looking off in the distance, before returning her gaze back to Buffy. "Buffy?"

"Yes?" she replied as they continued to walk towards the dorm.

"I... I just wanted to thank you, for you know."

"No problem, and I glad you thought I could help. Besides, I'm not the one you love, she is," Buffy answered honestly.

"So... did, um. Did I do okay? I've never kissed another girl before."

Buffy sighed, "If you can kiss her the same way, she hasn't got a chance," Buffy said, watching as a patch of crimson covered her companions' face. "Come on, we'd better hurry. We wouldn't want you to be late."


She had walking for over a half an hour, and nothing looked remotely familiar to her, except for a tree she had the oddest feeling she had passed by before.

'This is great,' she thought as she sat down taking a breather. She knew she shouldn't have bolted the way she did. There had to be a logical explanation, and if she had waited until they met later, she would have asked about it and gotten her answer. Instead, she was sitting down, wondering which way to go.

Looking around, she gathered a few stones lying on the ground and placed them at the base of the tree trunk. This would tell her if she was going in circles.

"That's West," she said out loud, frowning at the position of the sun. "So, that must be South," she told herself, before trudging off in what she hoped was the right direction.



"Are you sure she was going to meet you here?" Buffy asked.

"Yes. She was going to meet me right after her last class, and that was..." she said looking down at her watch. "Forty-five minutes ago."

"It's okay, maybe she got held up. And it's still light out. If she doesn't show up soon, we'll call Giles."

She nodded her head.


"Well, that didn't work," she said as she stared at the canyon that separated her from the other side. As she looked around, she noticed that there didn't seem to be anyway to get across. But that was the least of her worries.

The sun had begun to set and she was rapidly running out of time.

She knew she had no other option but to double back. Shaking her head, she began to jog back over the difficult terrain.

'I should have done this earlier,' she realized as she almost tripped over some rocks.



"Okay, I'll meet you there," Buffy told Giles as she hung up, turning around she saw the young witch staring at her. "I know you want to go, but someone needs to stay here, in case she shows up. Don't worry, we will find her. I'd better go," she said as she turned to leave.



"Would... would. Promise me you'll let me know, no matter what. Please," she pleaded quietly.

"I promise. I'll bring her back to you, no matter what," Buffy replied leaving the dorm room, praying that everything would turn out okay.


By the time she had made it back to the tree, the light had begun to fade from the sky. Realizing that she wasn't going to get back to the campus on time, she quickly went around and began searching for wood to make a fire with.

Kneeling down, she concentrated and watched as a spark flew from her fingers lighting the few twigs she had placed in a circle of stones. She bent down and blew on it slightly, gently bringing the fire to life, carefully adding bigger pieces of wood she had gathered, until they caught as well.

It was getting cooler and she knew she needed to keep the fire going through out the night if she didn't want to freeze.

'Freezing to death in Sunnydale. That's poetic justice for you,' she thought to herself as she watched the sun finally dipping past the mountains in the distance.

She had already fashioned a few crosses out of some branches she had found. She had scraped the rougher parts off with one of the smaller stones that she used to line the fire pit she had dug out with one of the more sturdier pieces of wood.

Huddling next to the fire, she brought her knees to her chest and rested her chin on them. She watched in silent fascination as the flames changed color in the darkening sky. She knew they would look for her, especially when she didn't show up when she was supposed to. The only problem was that *this* was the last place they would look. It was going to be a long night.

Reaching over, she brought her bag closer. She rummaged through it and her eyes lit up as she managed to find a lone stick of chewing gum. She carefully unwrapped it and took a bite, leaving the other part for later.

She closed her eyes and listened to sounds of nature all around her. Quietly content, knowing had this happened for any other reason, she would be having a wonderful time.

Placing a few more of the larger pieces of wood on the fire, she watched as the flames sought out the fresh supply of material to devour.




"Where are you?" they said simultaneously, each wondering about the other.


"All right, we don't have much to go on," Giles began after Buffy had told them all she knew about the disappearance which was next to nothing. "Xander, Anya, you two go into town, see if you can't find her. Check out the magic shop, she might have stopped there to pick something up," he said to them, watching as Xander nodded his head earnestly.


"Excuse me?" Giles asked the former demon.

"Why? Why should Xander and I ruin our evening looking for..."

"Hey... honey. It's what we do, besides, it's..."

"I know who it is Xander. I listened, I was bored, but I listened."

Xander looked over to Buffy and Giles who were shooting daggers from their eyes at him. He bent closer to Anya and whispered in her ear.

"Well, let's get going. We don't have all day," she replied, pulling him from the couch and herding him to the door.

"Call if you find... " Giles began to say before they left, "Anything," he muttered, shaking his head. "Buffy, go back to the campus, perhaps she was delayed somehow. Then check the usual spots of demonic activity, cemeteries, that sort of thing. You can never tell, I'll get on the phone and start making the rounds with the emergency departments and such. Hopefully, one of us can find her," he told Buffy, seeing the concern etched on her face.

"I'm on it," she replied, making her way to the front door.


"Yea Giles?"

"How... how is she doing?"

"She's holding up right now. I don't know what will happen if..."

"Yes, I'm sure it won't come down to that. You'd better get going."

With a quick nod, Buffy left Giles and headed for the cemeteries first, she would double back to the campus later. Sighing heavily, Giles took out his address book and began calling the local hospitals.


"Tara, you probably can't hear me right now, but that's okay. I... I want you to know something, I might not have said this yet, and it wasn't because I didn't want to. I... I just thought I had more time, and I promise you, the first thing I'll do when I see you is tell you face to face. But... you know, just in case something happens between now and then, " Willow said before taking a deep breath and allowing the emotions that had taken her by surprise bubble to the surface. "I love you Tara."


Tara looked around quickly, she could have sworn she had heard Willow's voice. She knew she had to keep a positive outlook on this. She refused to think of her life without Willow in it, no matter how long they spent together.

She gave thanks each time she was with the powerful Wiccan. She couldn't believe that they had only met a few months ago, it didn't seem possible to her. They seemed to connect at a level she had never known existed.

"Willow, you are my heart. I love you," she whispered into the night.



"All right Xander. No, there's nothing more we can do right now. Yes, yes I will. Yes, I'm sure we'll find her. The sun will be up in another hour, get some rest," he told the teenage boy over the phone as he rubbed at his weary eyes. "Xander... we will find her. I refuse to think otherwise. I'll see you at ten, go to sleep," he said before hanging up.

He had been on the phone for hours, and had turned up nothing. No one matching her description had been admitted or seen in any of Sunnydales' hospitals, or the morgues. He hated to make those calls, but he knew he had to try every avenue possible. She had simply vanished, it was if she had dropped off the face of the planet.

He looked up as his door opened, his brief hope that Buffy had managed to pull off a miracle, dashed to the floor as she dragged herself to the couch and fell across it.

After closing the door, he walked around and sat on the coffee table, she looked exhausted.

"I take it your search proved less than productive?" he asked her, wanting to hear it from her lips.

"I wouldn't say that exactly. I dusted five vamps tonight," Buffy replied around the seat cushion.


"Yep," Buffy answered before looking up at Giles. "I can't go back and tell her that I didn't find..."

"Would you like me to?" he asked, his heart going out to his young charge, as well as the other two girls.

"No, but... I could use a ride," she asked.

"I'll get my keys."


The sun shining in her eyes woke her, groaning, she carefully sat up. She noticed that the fire had burned down to embers and the chill in the air motivated her to place the remain pieces of wood on them. She was able to get the fire going again.

Stretching, she looked around. It had been an eventful night, as she had been awaken by the noise of some kind of animal close by. She had picked up one of the heavier branches and stood up holding it like a club. Of course she had stayed up for another hour or so, until sleep overtook her. Yawning, two things made themselves known, one, her bladder. The second her stomach.

Knowing which one she could take care of first, she made her way to some bushes.

Sitting down next to the fire; which was blazing, she held her hands out and relished the warmth. Glancing at her watch she knew she'd have to start her trek shortly.

"Okay, I've gone that way, and that way. So, it looks like I'm going this way," she said out loud, looking in the direction she planned to take.

After making sure she had put the fire out completely, she picked up her bag. She had to get moving, she had waited an hour before deciding it was time to leave. She reached into her bag and took out the small piece of gum she had left, and started chewing on it. Taking one last look around, she began walking.


"Hi Tara. I'd thought I'd just say hi. 'Hi.' I really miss you and I think I just do this until we see each other again. And we will, I know it. I can't wait to see you. I can't imagine that I'll let you out of my sight for a few days, but then I feel that way already. I hate when one of us has to leave for some reason. I want to be able to spend all my time with you. I know, kinda needy. I'll... I'll talk to you later, I love you."


Tara thought about Willow, wondering how she was. Was she okay? She missed her terribly. It felt as if a part of her was missing somehow and only Willow could ease the pain. She wanted to tell her how she felt whenever she was in her presence. It was if nothing else existed but Willow. She knew how silly it might sound to anyone else, but, what she had read in stories, was true. She did fall asleep thinking of Willow, and her first thoughts in the morning *were* of her.

"Willow," she whispered.


Buffy entered the dorm room and spotted the other girl standing next by the window, her eyes closed.


"You didn't find her yet," she said, without turning around.

"No... but we aren't giving up hope."

"She's okay... I can feel it. In here," she said, laying her hand on her chest.

Buffy walked over and stood next to her and stared out the window. Students had begun to make their way to class, their lives uncomplicated, except for normal things. Getting passing grades, making up with their respective boy or girlfriends. Normal things. Not life and death issues.

"Buffy, you should get some sleep."

"I will."

"I'm going to take a walk."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I won't be gone long. I'll meet you in front of the library. I... I just need some time."

"Okay, I'll see you there."


"ROAD!!!" she cried out as she ran the last few feet to the highway, dropping down to her knees, dismissing the pain and quickly kissed the ground. "Road... road," she said over again, as she ran her hands over the asphalt. "Okay... which way to go?" she asked herself. Spotting a sign, she jogged over to it, her face lit up as she read it.


"YES!!" she shouted out loud.

Kissing the sign before she left, she began walking, her step lighter.



She met with Buffy and the others at the library. It was decided it was time to expand the search. She told them that she would walk around campus, perhaps someone had seen her somewhere. She needed to feel as if she was participating somehow. They would meet back in front of the library at two.


She could see the campus coming into view and knew she'd never take the sight for granted again. She looked around, spotting a few people she recognized from class. Walking along one of the paths that adorned the entire campus, she shaded her eyes against the sun as someone started to come her way.

"It can't be?" she uttered out loud, her heart racing in her chest. She began to jog towards the person.


She heard someone jogging in her direction and she turned her head to look at who it was.

"Oh...my," she whispered as the figure came closer. She broke into a run, closing the gap.





They threw their arms around each other, holding on for dear life as they cried joyful tears.

"I love you Willow," Tara said as she held on to the red-headed beauty.

"I love you too Tara."

They pulled back, each of them looking at the other to make sure everything was all right. Tara reached out and brushed the tears from Willow's face. Willow took Tara's hand in hers and kissed her palm.

Tara leaned forward and captured Willow's lips with her own.

Willow returned the kiss, one that joined them for the first time, with a building passion that threatened to engulf them both.

"Wow... how did you learn to kiss like that?"

"Um... I... asked Buffy."


"I... I told her I wanted to kiss you, but I wasn't sure how," she said shrugging her shoulders. "I... I've never kissed a girl before."

"So, Buffy was helping you? And she's okay with... with you and me?"


"I'm such an idiot," she muttered angrily to herself.

"What's wrong?"

"I... I saw you two kissing and... and I ran."


"I saw you kissing her and I thought, I don't know what I thought," she said hanging her head down.

"I'm not in love with Buffy," she said quietly as she brought her face back up, staring deeply into her eyes. "I love you," she said with a convection she had never felt before.

"You do?"

"Oh yeah," she replied. "And as much as I'd love to convince you of that, I think we should find Buffy and the others. You know, let them know you're okay," she said as they walked hand in hand towards the library.

The End.

A. M. Glass Buffy Main Index