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Giles's breathing is ragged and shallow, but it has settled into a steady rhythm. One that tells Willow he isn't there with her anymore, not consciously. His eyes have closed. Maybe not for the last time, but maybe so.

It can't be over. Not like this. Not without meaning anything. If his death were saving Dawn, or Buffy, or the World.... It would still twist her insides into a knot of swallowed injustice, but at least it wouldn't be for nothing.

Tears fall on his face as she presses her lips to his temple. So much has never been said.

He murmurs indistinctly, stirs. But no more than that.

He won't last the night at this rate. And then what?

Dark. All dark. Forever.

He should have had more time.