(Tara, Willow, Xander)

Invisible

Used to be she was invisible. Those around her walked past as if she were a ghost, as if she were transparent, nothing. They didn't give her a second thought - or a first thought, for that matter.

For the most part, she had never used to mind. She liked being alone. But then there were the times it did matter to her. Her insides would tear into pieces, and she would feel like she was suffocating under the weight of her solitude.

Longing would fill her. She would yearn for company, if only for a little while. It hurt that no one seemed to want her around, that they didn't seem to notice her or recognise her as another human being capable of feeling.

Then she met Willow.

Slowly, her life started to change. And with it, she started to change. She grew more confidence in herself. She began to see parts of herself that even she had been blind to before. Having someone notice her for who she was, and to love her for those things, made her more able to see those parts of herself too.

She owed Willow so much, because Willow had shown her what she had not before seen: in order to be truly seen, she needed to see herself first. She needed to know herself, to love herself, to reveal her true self to the world.

She still felt invisible, after that. But she knew why, and she knew how to open herself to the people she didn't want to be invisible to. She was no longer transparent, no longer a ghost. She was just Tara, just another soul wandering a dark world made lighter by loved ones.

Then, she was a ghost, and her world was gone.

Willow's world was what she looked down upon, and it made her sad. Without her, Willow was fading. Willow was forgetting what she had taught her, and forgetting to apply it to herself. Willow was changing; she didn't like how Willow was changing, growing darker by the day.

She watched and hoped that Willow would see the truth: that she was hurting, and that was okay. Life would go on, and Willow should grieve and move on, and try to be happy. Instead, Willow was choosing a dark path that would lead to nothing good for anyone.

Willow was becoming darkness.

She didn't like the darkness.

Though she was invisible, she found a way to stay with Willow, watching over her and trying to lead her back to the right path. Willow adamantly refused, too caught up in revenge to think what she'd actually want Willow to do.

She watched, and waited, and hoped, until Xander pulled Willow back from the edge. She watched as the two friends embraced, and Willow's darkness melted as she realised what she had done. Willow was a long way from redemption, but she had found the right path again.

Relief filled her, and sadness.

In time, Willow would let her go, and she would finally move on as well. The spirit world called her, told her it was nearing her time.

She let it take her, when she knew Willow was all right.

She'd been invisible for much of her life, but she knew Willow would always remember her and love her. Her memory would live on within those who most mattered to her.

fin.