the pearl

Coming Home

Willow changed shirts again. "It's my first big dance, with a boy and a band, and not just me alone in my room pretending there's a boy and a band..."

Thirteen years old and all alone sitting in my room with a radio and myself, sobbing into my pillow because no one cared about me no one wanted to be with me I was alone I was miserable I was a big dumb freak and no one wanted to be with me and no one wanted to dance with me I sat and sat and sat all alone and no one cared and no one came near me.

Except for him.

She helped him with his tie and chuckled. "I was just....Remember the 8th grade cotillion? You had that clip-on?"

We were fourteen. We sat together in the corner no one wanted to talk to us not even Jesse. Cordelia reigned, her hair perfect even at that age. The clip-on tie came off in the punch. You were mortified. I was laughing as I fished it out. No one else noticed and we ran out of the dance trying not to laugh.

It wouldn't have mattered. No one saw us anyway.

"Yeah I was pretty stylin' with the clip-on..."

"Now, here we the homecoming..."

Four years have passed. Four years spent longing, waiting, not being alone and yet always being alone. You were always there and then you weren't. I was always there and then I left.

"Yeah, we should face it, Will. You and I are going to be at neighboring rest homes while I'll come over so you can adjust me....well...uh...I can't think of anything that's not really gross..."

Will we always be together? Will time and growing up separate us drive us apart turn us against each other? Will the wedge between us drive us further apart?

I wanted to grow old with you for so long.

" and do I put this....first, second, or ye gods?"

"That's none of your business, Alexander Harris."

Can't brag can't talk can't mention. How can I say that I'm doing things that I wanted to do with you for so long and I don't know if what I'm feeling is different or if things would be different with you.

Would things be different with you?

"Oooooh, rounding second."

"Oh, you don't know that! What about you and Cordelia?"

"A gentlemen never talks about his conquests..."

Is that all she is? Is that all I'll be? She really does care.

And I still care.

I shouldn't. But I do.

God help me, I do.

"Since when did you become a....gentlemen...I know, nice."

"I was gonna go with gorgeous."

"Really? You a guy way."

Never called gorgeous. Always called sweet. Always called nice. Gorgeous was Cordelia. Gorgeous was Buffy. Always the nice girl. Always the sweet girl. Always quiet. Always in the shadows. Always alone.

But he was always there to crack a joke to make me smile to commiserate to be there.

And now it's Homecoming and we're alone in my room and we've changed and we've grown and he looks so different and I look so different and I don't know what to do.

I never know what to do.

"Oz is very lucky"

Oz. Oh God, Oz. I never told you. I never knew. I was hurting and you cared. I wanted to hurt and you wouldn't let me. Was it just rebound? Seeing Xander and Cordelia together causing me to run to you?

You called me sweet. You saved my life. You were there. And I never told you.

"So is a girl way. "

I can't hurt her. She loves him. She hasn't let herself love since Kevin was found dead in the rec room. She's been hurt. He'll hurt her more.

Can I do that to her? Can I put her through that? All because of what I want?

Who cares what I want?

"I don't know if I can dance in this. I don't know if I can dance."

"C'mon, piece of cake, here."

Why does it feel so right?

It can't feel so right.

I can't let it feel so right.

This can't be right. I can't let him do this. I can't hold him. I can't dance with him.

I can't let myself want.

I can't

I can't

"That seems"

"Yeah...this...shouldn't be a problem..."

" problem..."

I'm not doing this

I'm not

I'm not

Oh god I am. And it feels so right....

I feel like flying or singing or dancing or...

Shooting myself. Oh God oh Oz oh Cordelia I'm sorry I didn't mean I don't know what I was doing Oh God I never I never meant...

I've come back home.

I've come back to him.

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at