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Small Victories

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Finding this place has taken spells Giles never knew existed. Has taken weeks of preparation, an endless drive out to Nevada, a day-long hike in heat that punches him breathless.

It looks like any other bit of sun-parched earth.

Sweaty, thirsty, weary, he digs. The ground's baked to asphalt, but he doesn't have to dig deep for Ethan's bones.

This is what he wanted. To know Ethan would never come back.

Yet he clutches Ethan's skull to his chest, curls around it in the twilight. Ethan's owed something, a prize for winning after all, but he's too tired to weep.