Funnier in Latin

Title: Just One Night
Author: Magicks and Vengeance
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Alternate Future, Spoils slightly BtVS not quite to end of season 7.
Summary: It's been nearly a year after the big battle, and Willow's having some trouble sleeping...
Disclaimer: Joss, not me.
Author's Note: I talked myself into attempting to write a Fred/Willow, seeing as I've absolutely loved the ship since Orpheus. And here is the product. Just barely shippy, and mention of Willow/Tara, but it's not bad :D Attempt to enjoy :D

It was dark and quiet. Willow wasn't sure if the quiet was because nearly every inhabitant of the city had fled, or if it was because of the inevitable rising of evil. They were all beside her in that moment. She could see Buffy, Tara, Kennedy, and Xander. It never occurred to her that Tara was out of place in this scene, that she was long past dead. But she didn't have time to realize before they were attacked. Everybody she knew and loved were being ripped apart by every kind of demon imaginable. And she couldn't bring herself to move.

She began screaming and yelling, attempting to reach out toward her loved ones, save at least one of their lives. But who would she pick? Tara would always be her true love, she knew that, and wanted to save her. But Xander had been her best friend since they were young. And Buffy was the Slayer! But she'd recently grown attached to Ke-

Willow was jolted awake as her body hit the floor with a deep thud. She gasped for air, as she realized it had all been a dream. "Willow?" she heard Dawn ask, her voice filled with fear. She forced her eyes open, and shifted so she was laying on her back. She could see three faces staring back at her. Dawn was looking at her, wide-eyed and jaw-dropped. Anya seemed to be trying to read her mind, and Andrew was standing in the door, looking miffed. "I'm okay... What're you guys doing?"

Fred's face now appeared in her field of view. She was shaking and breathing heavily. "I'm... I'm sorry. You were screaming. You woke us all up, and we couldn't wake you. I pushed you off."

The arm that she had fallen on ached a little, but Willow managed a smile. "I'm okay. Thanks for waking me, it... wasn't a pleasant dream," she confirmed. The emotions, whether worried, confused, or angry, were off of their faces. "So you're alright?" Dawn questioned. "Yeah."

Dawn, Anya, and Andrew left the room, and headed back to bed. But as Willow got up and pulled herself back onto her bed, she noticed that Fred was still standing in the doorway. She watched her, to see if she'd either exit or turn around, but she didn't. "Are you really okay?" she asked. "Honestly, Fred, I'm fine. Don't feel bad for pushing me off." Fred sighed heavily, and turned around. "I'm not worried about that! Well, I don't mean that in a rude way, I do feel bad for pushing you off, but that isn't what I mean. Were you wailing as loudly in your dream as you were here in the real world?"

Willow bit her lip. She felt like lying, but urged herself to tell the truth. "I guess I probably was. It wasn't a very good dream." Fred gave her an expectant look. "Okay, fine. It was about the battle, in a way. Buffy and Xander, and Kennedy. And Tara. They were dying, in the dream. I couldn't save them."

Fred looked interested, and quietly shut the door. She walked over to the bed, and sat down by Willow. Her brain was nagging at her to ask about Tara, since she'd never heard the name before. But she fought the urge, and decided to ask later. "Have you had this dream before?" she asked. Willow nodded silently. "When?"

How long had it been? A few days? A few weeks? Months, maybe? "Since a little while before you came to live with us," Willow answered. Fred had come to live with them about two months after the "final" battle, which was nearly a year ago. Now the Summers home was populated by five people: Willow, Fred, Dawn, Anya, and Andrew. Everyone else had either left, or was dead.

"I'm sorry. It must be hard, to keep dreaming of all these people you loved," Fred commented. Willow looked up, her sad eyes looking into Fred's own. "I still do," she commented, "I'll always love them. They may be dead forever, but I'm still alive. And not one day goes past that I don't think about each and every one of them. One more than the others, although it makes me feel guilty."

"Buffy?" Fred pondered out loud. Willow shook her head. "Tara. I'll never, ever forget her. She'll always be here, with me. She's here now, I know she is. I just wish I could talk to her. It's been so long." Fred put her hand on Willow's shoulder. "I'm so sorry... Could you tell me about her? Or would you rather not?"

Willow's face lit up slightly. "Oh, I'd love to. She was my girlfriend, from our first year of college, until she died." Willow got up, and took a shoe box out of her closet. She returned to the bed, and opened it, taking out a picture for Fred to see. "This is us. Xander took the picture one day at the beach... She looks so happy. Those were the good days, our first year or so. Everything seemed so perfect. But on the Hellmouth, nothing is ever perfect..." She sighed, and handed the picture to Fred. "Of course there were others. Before her, there was Oz, my highschool boyfriend. And my crush on Xander. But she was my always. She still is... I might date others, and I might love others, but she'll always have her place. After Oz left, I thought I'd never be happy again. But she showed me how wrong I was..."

In the box were many more pictures, and Fred reached over and grabbed some to flip through as Willow went on with her story. She also noticed a few magical items, but a blood-stained white shirt caught her eye immediately. Oddly, though, the blood seemed to be in the form of a map. Willow saw what Fred was looking at. "That was the shirt I was wearing. When she died. We'd just made up the day before... She'd left for awhile, when I'd become addicted to the magicks. But Warren came into the backyard with a gun, angry at Buffy. And a stray bullet came through the window, in what's now Anya's room. It used to be ours..."

Fred looked sympathetically at Willow, who was beginning to look worn out. "Thanks, I'm so sorry she's gone... She seems to have been very nice. You can stop now, I didn't mean to force you to talk about it." Willow shook her head. "No, it's okay. I love talking about her. It makes me feel good, that other people can get to know her through me, even though she's gone."

Fred put the pictures back in the box, and Willow put it back into the closet, carefully sliding it into the spot where it had been before. She sat back down next to Fred, and they stayed that way in silence. Fred shifted slightly, to look at the clock.

"Oh! It's already one in the morning... I should let you get back to sleep, you look exhausted. I'm sorry for bothering you, I should have just gone and let you get back to sleep in the first place. Are you going to be alright?" Willow stared nervously at the other woman. "It's really, really okay... Oh, wow, this is going to sound extremely childish, I know, but... Could you stay here? Just for a little bit... I... I can't get back to sleep after dreams like that, if I'm alone. And I've been alone every night for so long... My floor? Just one night?" Willow felt as if she were going to start pleading. She hated being strong, and she'd been doing so for so long, she couldn't help but let go.

A few moments later, before Fred had a chance to answer, Willow burst into apology. "God, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to be so childish and dumb. Go to bed. Your own. I'll be fine here, I don't need to bother you..."

But Fred walked over to the bed, and sat down on the opposite side of Willow. "Of course I can stay here. But mind if I'm on the bed? The floor makes my back hurt." Willow sighed in relief, but was slightly scared, having a girl in her bed after all this time. But it wasn't a sexual thing. It was just a friend thing. And it was just for one night. "Thank you."

They got under Willow's blankets, and Fred turned off the lamp next to the bed. After a minute or so of moving around, Willow found herself up against Fred, who was hugging her firmly from the back. She knew nothing would happen that night, and was pretty sure nothing would ever happen between them, but she knew how wrong she might be. Besides, she got the best night's sleep she'd had in a long time.