Disclaimer:  The characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Wheldon, Mutant Enemy and Fox.  No copyrigtht infringement intended.

by Karen

It hurt.  The cold burned, and the pain washed over her in waves.  The water had been so cold.  How long had she been under?  Was she still in it?  She could remember the fight.  There had been so many vampires; there was no way that they could take them all.  She could remember being on the dock, trying to stay alive.  She could remember falling in water; Buffyís terrified scream still reverberated through her head.  But she couldnít remember anything after that.

< Come on, Willow.  Youíve got to come back.  Do you hear me? >

A voice came through the inky blackness.  So scared.  Frantic.  Who was it?  Did she know it?

< This is not a choice, Willow.  You cannot leave.  You cannot die.  Please donít die.  Please come back to me.  Please donít leave me. >

How could she leave that voice?  That person?  Willow began to push her way through the darkness, and the pain increased.  So cold.  Frozen.  Dear Lord, it hurt.  She took a gasping breath.

< Thatís it, baby.  Fight.  Come back to me.  Please, baby, fight it. >

She took another breath.  Was it Oz?  Xander?  Maybe... it soundedfamiliar.  Xander.  It had to be Xander.  It was a full moon.  Oz was a werewolf tonight.

< Good girl.  Keep breathing.  Thatís it, Willow.  Youíre doing great. >

She continued fighting her way through the darkness towards consciousness.  She let out an anguished moan as the pain increased.

< Thatís it, sweetheart.  Wake up.  Please wake up.  Just open your eyes.  Come on, little one, open your eyes. >

The voice was closer.  It seemed to be coming from right next to her.  She would wake up for him.  She would live for Xander.  She opened her eyes to see her friend.

But it wasnít Xander.

It was Angelus.

The End