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Epilogue

Epilogue

"Xander's okay. Lucky spike was around to kill that demon on his wedding. Apparently it was trying to scare Xander out of marrying Anya," Tara told Willow, who just smiled and nodded. "You already knew that was going to happen?"

"The demon thing, not the Spike saving the day thing," Willow explained. "Angel's happy. The soul is stuck, and he's with his wolfy girlfriend."

"That's nice," tara said, a little stiffly. She didn't like hearing about angel. Any form of Angel. It wasn't fair, she knew that, but she couldn't control the feelings.

Willow ran her hand over Tara's arm as they snuggled on the couch. It was a stolen snippet of time in between the trials and emptiness of the real life. She didn't want a single second of it spent in dark reflection.

"How's Spike and Buffy?" Tara asked, changing the subject. She turned her hand to catch her lover's fingers.

"Thoroughly in love, even if they bicker non-stop." She chuckled. "Yesterday she was chasing Spike around their house, threatening to stake him. See? Totally in love."

Tara laughed along. "My blonde pair behaves just about the same. It's either sappy and kissing, or trying to kill each other. It's been worse since Buffy got pregnant."

"I can't believe Buffy's pregnant. Is she hormonal? Does she eat lots of pickles?"

"Pickles?" Tara raised her eyebrow.

"What? Joyce always said she craved pickles whenever she was pregnant," Willow defended.

"Buffy eats ice cream. Spike is always running out for ice cream."

"There, that's love," Willow said.

"I think he's just happy to get away from her for a few minutes. She's the scariest thing any of us have faced," Tara joked.

"So the love part comes in with the not actually killing each other?" Willow asked.

"Yes, that's where their love comes into play."

"Ahhh," Willow said. "Makes sense."

Tara twisted in Willow's arms, touching her cheek. "I love you," she murmured, kissing her lips softly. "This is where the love part comes in with us."

"Mmm, I like our love better." She smiled against the blonde's mouth. "Ours is the best."

Tara nuzzled Willow's cheek. "When do you have to go?"

Willow glanced at her wristwatch. "Soon." She sighed. It was her least favorite part of going back to see Tara. Their parting hurt the same each time. Each time she worried her beautiful woman would find someone else in the hours, or days they were parted. She agonized over the idea that someday she may be turned away by her soul mate. It made her clutch Tara a little tighter.

"When will you be back?" Tara whispered. The weight of the world- the pain of a thousand broken hearts resided in the soft spoken words.

"A day or two. There's a little problem I have to help Buffy out with. But…But maybe I can stay longer next time. I really like living in the past," she joked. She wondered where the crickets were. Or maybe they didn't think it was funny either.

"I..." Tara looked down. "I'm always afraid you won't come back."

Willow furrowed her brow. "Are you thinking I'll get hurt? I gotta tell you, I'm not doing that much. Buffy won't let me. She's afraid to lose me. I'm all boring research girl now."

"It's more than that. I'm… I'm afraid you'll f- fall in love with someone else." Tara chanced a glance up, but immediately looked back down.

"And here I was scared of the same thing." Willow cupped Tara's face and kissed her. "I'm yours, Tara. There is no moving on. I can't. You're my only one. You're my soul mate. I will come back here every chance I have. If I could, I'd live here, but the Universe won't let me. Crappy, mean ol' Universe."

Tara buried her face into Willow's neck, holding her tightly. "Yeah, stupid Universe."

"I promise I will always come back."

"I promise I'll always be waiting."

"Then I guess we're stuck with each other," Willow murmured into Tara's shoulder.

"I guess so," Tara agreed.

They closed their eyes, reveling in the moment. The rest of the world disappeared. For the time being they had each other. They'd say good bye when the time came. Until then, they made believe time stopped ticking by. Just for the two of them, the world stopped revolving, and they wouldn't have to part. Their least favorite part stayed firmly in the future.

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