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By Candlelight

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"You know, this would be so much easier if you'd just..." Dawn said, trailing off as the kitchen light flickered above her. "Buffy, why is the light flickering?"

Buffy glanced up at the light. "It's nothing."

As they stood there looking at the light, it cut out for good, plunging the room into darkness. From somewhere else in the house, they heard a strangled yelp. "Willow!" Buffy called out, using the minimal light from the moon outside to navigate herself. "Tara! Are you okay?"

Tara poked her head down from the top of the stairs. "Yeah, we're okay. Willow was just startled. Did the power go out?"

"Yeah, I guess it did. I'll go check outside and see if we're the only ones."

"I'll get some flashlights."


A short time later, Buffy walked back through the front door and slumped against it. "It's not just our house; it's at least the entire block. Great."

Tara and Willow came down from upstairs, candlesticks in hand. "We couldn't find any flashlights," Tara said, shrugging slightly. "But we have these." She held up the candles as she said it.

As they moved into the kitchen and lit each candle, Tara glanced over at Willow in the light of flickering flame. Something about the way she looked made Tara's lips curve up into a small smile. It was a simple pleasure, she knew, one that she had borne witness to before, every time they cast a spell involving candles, but one that never grew old.

"Tara? Is everything okay?" Dawn asked, waving a hand in her face.

"Uh, um, yeah," she said. Darn that Dawn. "Everything's just fine."

Willow turned to face Tara. "I'm glad, baby," she said with the smile that Tara remembered as being only for her, slipping her hand over to Tara's. "Wouldn't want anything to be wrong..."

Tara smiled. No. In the stillness of a quiet night in the company of those she loved and cared for, everything was perfect.

-fini-