Disclaimer: Giles, Jenny, and anyone else belong to Joss, Mutant Enemy, and a whole lot of other people who aren't me. The song "Jenny" is copyright Sleater-Kinney, 1997.

This story is set shortly after "Passion".

by Maya Tawi


*do you see her face*
*when she's gone?*

He sat for a long time, his fingers resting lightly on the cool stone, unmoving. Then he spoke, hesitantly at first, aware that his voice was a disturbance in the otherwise unworldly stillness.

"I... saw you again today, Jenny," he said softly. "That is, I know it wasn't you, you understand, but just for a moment, I could almost believe...." He stopped, swallowing hard. "Well. Just for a moment."

*sometimes so bright*
*your heart just stops*

"Sometimes... sometimes I wonder if I will be seeing you for the rest of my life. And I can't decide if that's a comfort, or if it- if it scares the hell out of me."

He waited, as if for an answer; as if to coax some words from hard, unyielding stone. There was no answer.

As it should be. The dead are dead.

*does she answer you?*
*your other half*

Jenny. So different, and yet they were so much alike. He thought back to the beginning, their first meeting. The way her face was aglow when she discussed the mischief demons. Her dark eyes crackling as she berated him for something or other. Wrong, Snobby. What had it been? He couldn't remember what they had been discussing. Somehow it seemed deathly important that he did.

Jenny... there would never be another one like her.

*you know they say*
*she comes just once*

There was a sudden ripple of movement, a disturbance in the air, and he raised his eyes hopefully, looking for- he didn't know, anything. But the headstone was as silent as always, secrets locked away, her fragile body resting under its protection. Somewhere across the cemetery, a family of four was carrying large bouquets of roses.

Somebody else had died.

*i am the girl*
*i am the ghost*
*i am the wife*
*i am the one*

"Sometimes, I- I don't want to get up. I don't want to be alive, out there, with you trapped here forever. I think I only go because Buffy needs me." He laughed, harshly and suddenly, the sound obscene in the quiet city of the dead. "That, that's funny, her needing me, don't you think? And the others are the very picture of love's young dreams. She and I both lost part of ourselves."

*do you wanna forget?*
*live in the dark?*

"No... I suppose it isn't very funny." He stared at the cold ground, toying with the limp petals of the single white rose. Wilting already. He must remember to bring some more.

"We understand each other, though. It's... twisted, how the person Buffy lost was your killer." He stopped, thinking, gaze still locked on the snowy flower, going brown around the edges. "I just don't understand," he burst out suddenly. "Why you? What- what purpose would he serve, by getting to me like that?"

*was she just too close*
*to everything?*

"And after everything...." He trailed off, as a single tear trickled down his face.

*didn't we almost have it almost have it*
*almost have it almost?*

"I was so close, Jenny." His voice was cracking now, breaking, and he tried to compose himself. "So close to telling you that, that I loved you, that I couldn't imagine my life without you...."

It didn't matter; the tears were coming faster now, washing down his face, coloring it a bright red that may have been caused by the bitter cold, if not for his hollow, haunted eyes.

"Willow says that I shouldn't- I shouldn't blame Angel for it. That it was the demon, and we'll find some way to bring his soul back. But don't you see, Jenny?" His voice rose, anguished, and he stopped, breathing deeply; then he spoke again, whispering now.

*didn't we almost have it?*

"If I don't blame Angel... then who can I blame? I have to blame myself. For- for pushing you away, the way I did, for trying to make you choose us over your family.... And I don't know if I can live with that. If I can live with myself."

He started to rise to his knees. "So I will kill him. We will. And I will remember you for the rest of my life. You won't have died in vain, Jenny. You can't."

*didn't you want it?*
*didn't you want it?*

"Oh Jenny." He nearly crumpled over again. "I wanted it... I wanted us. I wanted it more than anything. And even now I would- I would sell my soul to have you back."

Whispering again, he stood, finally. "But it doesn't work that way."

He turned to leave, then stopped. Across the cemetery was a woman- slender, with short dark hair, carrying herself with an unshakable air of confidence. Feeling his gaze, she tilted her head up to him, once, then moved on.

And the pain hit all over again.

*do you see her face*
*when she's gone?*

Email: mayatawi@populli.net

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