Letting The Cables Sleep by Amanda Arlequin Disclaimer: The characters in this story are from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and belong to the God Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The lyrics are from the song "Letting The Cables Sleep" by Bush and belong to them. No copyright infringement intended.

**You in the dark, 
you in the pain, 
you on the run
living a hell, 
living your ghost, 
living your end
never seem to get in the place that I belong
don't wanna lose the time, 
lose the time to come**

	She stood at the gravesite, starring at the engraving with morbid
fascination.  She was one of the few in the world who had this opportunity,
to look at what could and should have been.  If questioned twenty-five
years ago, she would have vehemently denied any derivation of pleasure
over, what one could see as, her triumph over death.  Back then she'd been
so confused, so full of inner torment that the idea of immortality had held
no appeal for her.  Now things were different.  She had lived double the
years engraved on her headstone and though her body may not have matured,
her mind certainly had.  Though she lived every day with the painful
knowledge of what had been stolen from her, of the normal life she would-
could- never again have, the pain had begun to lessen.  It had taken a
quarter of a century for her to gain the courage she needed to bury the
past, and move forward with the new life and opportunities before her.
That was the reason she had come here, for the first and last time, on this
night of all nights.  Somehow the anniversary of her death seemed the
proper night for her burial of the girl she had once been.  She needed this
closure in order to stop living in death.  She couldn't regain what had
been robbed from her, nor that which she had willingly pushed away, and she
was now ready to accept that.  Tonight would be the first night of the rest
of her life.  She would face it as she had never been able or willing to
before, and she'd move on a stronger person, alone but strong because she
was finally accepting what she had become.  If only she had been ready for
this acceptance in the past.  Then she could have had the only thing in her
life worth living for.  But she had pushed him away, and to move on she had
to accept that she was alone.  She had to move on without him, and as hard
as that was going to be, she had to do it.  As she said goodbye to the girl
she had once been, she had to say goodbye to what she knew she could not
have, if only because of her own machinations.

**Whatever you say it's alright
Whatever you do it's all good
Whatever you say it's alright
Silence is not the way
We need to talk about it
If heaven is on the way
If heaven is on the way**

	Bending down directly in front of the small headstone, Willow reached a
tentative hand to brush against the cool marble.  Trembling, leather bound
fingers caressed the lettering of her name.  "Good bye, Willow Ann
Rosenburg, may you find peace at last."  The whispered words had a soothing
effect on Willow, rather than producing the bitter tears of loss she had
expected.  Perhaps this had been what she needed for so long- a formal
remembrance and goodbye to the past.  With one last look at the grave,
Willow stood and turned to leave, anxious to get back home to New York.
Perhaps when she did she'd finally be able to contact Xander and Oz.    It
was a huge step, and not one she was sure she was quite ready for, but
perhaps soon.

**You in the sea, 
on a decline, 
breaking the waves
watching the lights go out
letting the cables sleep
whatever you say it's alright
whatever you do it's all good
wahtever you say it's alright**

	Her enhanced senses picked up the sound of movement in the shadows.
Immediately alert, she turned to scan the area.  Her body tensed when she
saw a figure coming towards her, emerging from the shadows as if having
been born from them.  The figure moved with the grace of a natural
predator, and she knew it was one of her kind.  Before she could even
consider preparing herself for any potential danger, she froze, her body
reacting before her mind had fully caught up with what she was seeing.
When the moonlight illuminated his face it only confirmed what her soul had
already known.  They stared at each other for what seemed like another
quarter of a century.  He appeared just as surprised to see her as she was
to see him, and like her he appeared to want to run.  But they both stood
stock still, eyes widened like those of a trapped animal, yet mesmerized
and unable to look away.

**Silence is not the way
We need to talk about it
If heaven is on the way
We'll wrap the world around it
If heaven is on the way
If heaven is on the way**

	He broke the gaze first, looking past her at the headstone directly behind
her.  She gasped, seeking a breath she no longer needed physically but did
emotionally.  His face was expressionless, a hardened mask which betrayed
none of his emotions.  She wondered why he was there, then noticed the
single white rose in one hand and the smooth, polished stone in the other.
Seeing them, she knew that this was not a coincidence.  Identical stones,
one for each year since her death, covered the top of her headstone, and
she knew that he had placed them there. Every year, on the anniversary of
her death, he had honored her as the tradition of her ancestors mandated,
and this year was no exception.  The knowledge that he was doing this, had
done this for all those years, moved her.  She felt overwhelmed by emotions
she had kept locked inside of her for so long.  Before she knew it, tears
ran in red rivulets down her pale cheeks.  She stumbled as her body shook
with suppressed sobs.  

**I'm a stranger in this town
I'm a stranger in this town
If heaven is on the way
If heaven is on the way…
I'm a stranger in this town
I'm a stranger in this town **

	Instinct overrode any logical hesitation.  He was at her side in an
instant, strong arms supporting her body.  The feel of his hands on her
body, supporting her as they had done so many times in the past, broke all
her carefully built defenses.  Choking sobs raked her body as she collapsed
against the strong, supportive wall of his chest.  His tears mixed with
hers as he pulled her against him, crushing her to his body as if he could
protectively squeeze her sorrow away.  At the same time, he was afraid if
he let her go she'd disappear, another cruel trick played by his mind.
Instinctively, he placed a palm against her hair, trying to smooth the pain
away with each brush of his hand.  The moment he had patiently waited for
all these years had finally arrived.  She was reaching out to him, and his
heart sang with joy.  He knew she was ready to allow him back in, and
together they'd heal all the pain and melt away the years of separation.  
They held on to each other for dear life, taking comfort in what had been
denied to them both for too long.  They shared everything in that moment,
the way they always used to.  Their souls swelled with passionate joy,
reunited at last.  Willow was finally whole again.  She never even knew if
he kissed her.

The End.

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