DISCLAIMER: This is the first fanfic I've ever written. It's set in season 7, before the whole of Sunnydale is swallowed like some 4th grader getting in trouble for having gum. It's from Tara's perspective. Be gentle. I've never written like this before.
You can see it hurts her. You know it hurts you. But you just want her to be happy. It's all you've wanted for so long. It hurt you to watch her try to move on because you knew you never could. You'd love her forever. Because you were ripped away from her. And now, you've gotten another chance. The thing you wished for so long would happen has come true, but you can't be with her. You see her with that girl, that Slayer, and she looks at you with pain, concern, and what hurts you the most, longing. The Slayer only looks at you with disdain and pity.
She doesn't know you couldn't cross over. She doesn't know that you never actually left her. She couldn't hear you beg her not to seek revenge, that you watched her go black. You saw Xander save her. She couldn't see you cry at their embrace. You saw her grieve you and wanted, more than anything, so soothe her heart. It broke yours to see her moving on, but you took comfort in seeing her smile again. You want to hate that Slayer, but she makes your Willow happy. As much as it hurts you, that's all you want; Willow's happiness. She'll never know the yearning you felt, and it's better than way.
Your presence is hurting her relationship. You can feel her pulling away from the Slayer, and you can see how much it's hurting Kennedy. You can tell she's in love with Willow. You don't want to hurt her.
You told Willow you could see how happy she was, that you're happy she's happy, and it would break your heart if she changed that just because you're back. The Slayer girl heard you. You know she spies on you every time Willow comes near you. She doesn't trust you. You've given her no reason to. You don't blame her.
You grieve in secret. Then you reappeared on this plane, you realized you couldn't be with her. You're trying to move on. You know you never will while you're still around her, but the thought of leaving, of being alive, and not being about to see her, nearly kills you again. You aren't ready to let her go just yet. And you know it's not fair to her.
As you're staring out the window in the living room you feel her presence. You know she's alone. All the Slayers went with Buffy somewhere. You can feel her approach you. She says the one thing you've longed to hear her say, "Tara," she says gently. You turn to her, and there are tears in her eyes. You can't help taking her into your arms and holding her like you used to. You wipe away her tears.
"Will, what's wrong? Did something happen?"
"Tara, you came back. I can't do this anymore. I can't pretend. I see you walking around here trying to smile. I know the torment you're feeling," you hear her choking back tears as she talks, "because I feel it too."
"What are you saying?" You let her out of your embrace and look at her hard.
"I'm saying Kennedy was only around because I couldn't have you. You died in my arms. I tried to bring you back. I- I couldn't do it. I tried, baby, I tried! And when I couldn't, I wanted to end the world. I didn't want to have to live in a world without you. Tara, I need to tell you," she looks deeply into your eyes, "I killed the man that shot you. I turned bad, I almost killed Giles, and everyone, and I did horrible things, I-"
"Shhh, Willow. Calm down." You put your arms around her, and she rests her head on your shoulder, quietly sobbing. "I know what you've done. And I forgive you."
"What?" She looks at you in shock, "Who told you?"
"No one told me. Now it's my turn to tell you something." You sit on the couch, and Willow sits down with you. You take her hands in yours. "I didn't want to ever tell you this, but I can't keep it from you any longer," you pause to take a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Willow, I never left you. I was always with you. I couldn't move on, cross over, whatever it's called. I was ripped away from you, but I couldn't leave you. The time in the library, with Cassie? I was there. The First told you what I said. I did sing to you. I didn't know what it was at the time. I didn't want you to cry, but I finally got to talk to you. I didn't know she, it, was going to try to hurt you. I screamed at it to stop. And I watched you suffer over me. Then the Slayer girl came along. She made you smile like you used to. Willow, you can't lose that just because I'm back. I won't let you. You've been through enough pain on my account."
She looks at you and wipes a tear away from those eyes you used to get lost in for hours. "You never left me?"
"I never left you. Not for a minute."
She looked at you with love in her eyes. "Tara, Kennedy will never be you. I can never love her how I still love you. I--"
"But you do love her," you interject, and look away from her. Willow takes your face between her hands and turns your head gently to look into your eyes. "I don't know. I'm fond of her, for sure, but I don't think I love her. I don't think I can. I'm not sure. I knew I could never have you again, so I tried to move on. I tried to be happy. But there was a hole in my heart where you used to be. And then you came back. I don't know how. I don't know why, but words can't even begin to express how happy you've made me just by being here. I love you, Tara, I know that for sure. I don't want to hurt Kennedy, but she's already sensed how I've been feeling. And it's not just you coming back. We're not the right fit. She's very different from me. Being with her while you're alive feels like I'm cheating on you. I love you, Tara. I love you, baby, and I need to be with the person I love, remember?" She pulls you closer to her and kisses you deeply and passionately. You almost can't believe what she's just said.
"Willow, I-" just at that moment, the door bursts open and in walk the Slayers, all headed towards the kitchen. Kennedy eyes you angrily and walks over to Willow. She pulls her up from the couch and kisses her cheek. She wraps her arm around her and asks, "So, what were you two talking about?" with a little too much disdain in her voice.
"Kennedy, we need to talk..." Willow leads her upstairs, and your head begins to spin. The thing you've wanted since your death came true.
"You look a little too happy. What happened while I was gone?" Buffy asked, with a hint of excitement in her voice. You look at her, and all you can do is smile. She smiles back and hugs you.
Hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading. :)