characters: Buffy/Tara, Dawn
word count: 355
summary: AU- Tara doesn't die in "Seeing Red"; use of Key-canon
a/n: inspired by this tumblr post about BtVS deaths (read the tags especially)
It could’ve gone any other way.
There’s a moment of clarity when she pushes back the hair away from her face, wishing she could do the same with her memories, tuck them away where they no longer matter; a moment when she feels how different it could be.
“This is my friend, Tara.”
“Hi! It’s so great to meet you!”
And their gentle handshake should match the girl’s soft smile, but it throws them both against the wall and she’s never felt so flushed from a gentle touch but there it is and that’s all there ever was.
You don’t notice at first, what living with a Key can do to your mind. Especially since she’s never really had time to stop and notice the blurring edges, the small flashes in the corner of her eye. There was always a battle, a war, a mouth to feed, a wall to fix, a meeting to plan, an ass or two to kiss or kick or kill. In the middle of war when there is no time for sleep and your fifth cup of coffee no longer has any flavor and the buzzing at the edge of your brain is the pain and the restlessness and anxiety, action is all there is or ever was and thoughts only propel you forward and forward and forward because looking back can get you killed.
It’s only in the stillness that the Slayer is never really supposed to know (that makes her crawl the walls at night and they sometimes find her at three in the morning organizing the dvd’s by director’s last name with bloodshot eyes because now she is a warrior without a war) that the buzzing takes shape and that blurring in her vision holds the Keys to a life not-lived.
One where the girl in her bed belongs to someone else, where that shy smile is long since dead, and the mourning can’t even hit her because it is a bad dream and then there is a warm hand in hers and soft hair tickling her shoulder and that isn’t real.
Promise that you’ll always be mine.
I can’t do that.
Because some day you’re going to walk into battle with my heart and I’ll never stop waiting.
ps - I totally fail at fandom. RL has been rude/wonderful. After last week's fiasco(s), I disappeared into the Thailand mountains for a much-deserved long-weekend. I'm trying to poke my head above water slowly, but I have a lot on my plate right now. If you do anything lovely that you think I'd like, just PM me or comment here or PM me on tumblr - I want to know what everyone is up to.