The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Coffee Moods (short stories)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:15 pm
Posts: 2086
Topics: 1
Title: Coffee Moods
Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)
Distribution: please email me first
Rating: PG to NC-17, see individual entries for rating
Disclaimer: BtVS characters, concepts and dialog belong to Mutant Enemy, Fox, The WB, UPN and others. The stories contained here are of a personal nature, non-commercial, not for sale or profit, and may not be sold or reproduced for commercial purposes.
Summary: Thoughts and frivolities in a coffee sort of way. This is another new venture for me, I've never done short stories before, here goes.

*****


Coffee Moods

Summary: Tara enjoys an afternoon of mocha, reflections and an unexpected encounter. Apologies to Betsy Lou Plotnick's from East Cupcake, Americans without passports and people who work in the City.
Setting: Post-Season 6
Rating: PG-13

Old buildings, new faces. An evergreen icon that eternally reinvents itself. Where the ancient and the daring sit comfortably side by side, sharing the spotlight. Take a deep breath and let the character and history permeate through to your core.

That's London for you.

The last time I visited the city was those far away eons ago, a small window of an afternoon between landing at the airport and meeting with Mr Giles, on my way to Devon to collect Willow from the coven.

All I remembered, and that was because I kept the ticket as souvenir, was spending that afternoon on the top deck of a bright red “hop-on, hop-off” tour bus. My mind was too preoccupied with Will's condition to appreciate the rare sunny weather or any of the sights I saw that day. How was she? Would she be changed? What of the future? Our future?

We hardly talked about those times anymore. At first we talked about it to death, all of us, Buffy and Dawn and Mr Giles and even Spike put in his two cents, though none of us took any notice. Willow's addiction, her little foray into abuse and degradation. We analyzed and dissected; discussed and divided blame.

But eventually I realized we had to move on, that we couldn't always be pussyfooting around her, always afraid of a relapse, that we had to start showing trust. So gradually, that episode faded into the background of our memories, like all the other indiscretions all of us had committed from time to time.

Things were different now.

We were in London for business and pleasure. Or rather, she was here for business, meeting clients, impressing them with her brilliance and charming them with her knowledge. She was so successful in her career she was in demand almost constantly.

Me, I was the trailing spouse, she tried to take me whenever she traveled, which was becoming increasingly frequent. Our suitcases were perpetually packed, our bathroom littered with small bottles of hotel shampoo and our kitchen full of sauces and ingredients for recipes we didn't have time to try out.

Didn't know how either of us could bear it, if we spent too much time away from each other. Deep down we were probably afraid the magic would fade. Even though she didn't do spell magic anymore, and most nights she worked on her laptop till late. Still, I got to go to bed next to her and I woke up early to watch her sleep.

So it was four in the afternoon and I found myself in a coffee shop at the top end of Soho with a mocha and a book. Another coffee shop to add to my collection. Her meetings would finish soon and we'd arranged to meet in this local looking place that had a touch of bohemia to it. Rough wooden furniture, back editions of magazines scattered all over, old leaflets advertising poetry open mikes, a whiff of Golden Virginia from the back rooms. Reminded her of her geek-infested roots, she said. Well, except for the tobacco part.

I spent the day walking from our hotel through the West End shopping areas, eventually reaching “swinging” Carnaby Street. Browsing through the shops, being the faithful tourist.

She'd taken to wearing shirts with double cuffs lately, so I bought her a pair of hand-painted stained glass cufflinks. And a matching hairclip for me. I hope she didn't think matching accessories were too cheesy, or I was too possessive or anything.

I couldn't help it, I took my purchases out and admired how the colored glass caught the light of the afternoon sun.

"Excuse me, is this seat taken?" I looked up and saw red hair. My heart skipped a beat, then settled down again. "Sorry, all the tables are occupied, do you mind sharing?"

"Sure," I replied, not wanting to be rude.

"These look very nice. Handmade?" my new neighbor nodded at the trinkets.

"Um, yes. I think so. That's what the label says. They caught my eye as soon as I saw them and I had to have them," I said, a bit sheepishly. Dad would never approve of such blatant flaunting, especially over a couple of inconsequential baubles.

"May I?" A slender hand asked the question and the clip slipped out of my grip. A warm stream spread up my fingers where we touch, briefly. I quickly jerked my hand away and made a fist.

She was holding the hairclip, my hairclip, against her hair and craning her neck to see her reflection in the mirror on the far wall. The tiny glass panels momentarily reflected the sunlight and the brightness blinded me for a split second.

"Nah, not for me, hair's too short. Now these I can do something with," with that, the clip returned to my hands and was exchanged for the cufflinks. I blinked, speechless at the girl's audacity.

She held the cufflinks against her ears, a pair of makeshift earrings, twisting her head left and right. "What do you think? Any good?"

"They're nice," I managed to respond without stuttering. And they were nice, the different colors played off perfectly against the red hair. I could picture them against another set of red hair and made a mental note to go back to the shop.

"Oooh, I think I might keep these." the girl declared. I must have looked so horrified that she immediately backtracked. "No, no, just joking."

I shifted in my seat and studied the back of my book intently, all of a sudden the small round coffee shop table felt like it had shrunk. I swallowed hard.

"You're awfully quiet for an American," she said out of the blue.

"Excuse me?" I sighed, frowning inwardly at this girl's forwardness.

"You are American right? I can tell from the accent. Where are you from? Not New York, not East Coast. California?" she asked.

"Y-y-yes. Sunnydale, near Santa Barbara."

"You're not what I imagined someone from California to be like," she continued. "You're far too reserved."

I looked at her directly. She didn't seem malicious, but her comments were disquieting.

"How do you imagine a California native to be like?" I questioned.

"Oh, you know, all ‘How ya doin'? I'm Betsy Lou Plotnick from East Cupcake, California. I'm a cheerleader and my ambition is to save the world. Have a nice day’," she squeaked in a bubble-gum voice. "Well, either that, or it's Britney."

"Now that's plain unfair stereotyping," I cried in mock indignation. "Betsy Lou has most likely never set foot outside of California, plus she doesn't even have a passport to get her to England in the first place."

"Yeah, and London's located somewhere in the vicinity of New York City. Scotland's this district of London and as for Wales, she doesn't know about Wales, aren't they very big fish that swim in the ocean and have a water-fountain on their head?" she added.

We shared a small laugh. I supposed I should feel offended but I realized this was the dry, backhanded British style of humor that managed to sneak up at you unawares. Very Giles.

"So, you here on a visit? Have you been to the UK before?" she asked in a much more friendly tone.

"This is my first proper visit, my last one was too rushed to see anything in detail," I said.

"Have you done the tourist rounds yet?"

"A little. At the risk of sounding like an American, it's awesome," I said the last with my most popcorn-like voice. "All that unparalleled history and pageantry and architecture."

"You an architect then?"

"No, illustrator. Mainly books but I'm learning to do more on the computer. I have an excellent teacher," I smiled the smile of the smitten and felt a blush coming on. I came to the realization that I'd been the one answering all the personal questions and started wondering if I was being pumped. I decided to return the favor. "What about you? Are you from London? What do you do?"

"Local girl born and bred, I work in a bar, hence the free time during sunlight hours," she looked like she wanted to say more, but stopped herself.

"Do you like it?" I asked, keeping the conversation on neutral ground.

"It's not bad, better than working in the City," she snorted.

"Um, as opposed to the country?" I asked, trying not to sound stupid.

"City's short for City of London. The financial district," she explained. "Kinda like your Wall Street."

Now I felt like a dork. "Of course, I have heard of it, I just didn't make the connection."

"No worries. It's just a workplace. Tons of people descend on a tiny square mile Monday morning and leave Friday afternoon. There's no soul there. Most people would rather be someplace else," she said wistfully.

"I take it you used to be one of those soul-less workers who managed to escape to the someplace else?" I glanced her way and received a nod and wry smile in affirmation.

"I was in a band, it didn't pan out so I'm working in the bar for the time being," she said. "Actually, there's a gig tonight at the bar, the band's really good and I might get some stage time. Would you, uh, are you... may be... free?" she asked hesitantly.

Tonight Willow resolved to keep her Powerbook firmly shut down and we would have a romantic night together — dinner reservation confirmed (twice, by my ever reliable redhead), plenty of candles at the ready, champagne chilling in our room — everything was in perfect shape, the do-not-disturb sign would stay firmly on our door until well into the morning.

"Oh. I've got plans tonight," I declined gently.

"What about tomorrow night, or another night, while you're still in London?" she was kind of pushing now.

"It's not so convenient," I smiled at her, hoping she would not take offence. Then it hit me. "Sorry for being direct, but, um, are you, are you hitting on me?"

Her face registered shock, denial, resignation in quick succession but then she grinned. "Well, yes alright, you caught me. But you have to understand, this is a place for, you know ..."

Of all the coffee shops in all of London itself, I had to walk into a pick-up joint. I grinned back. "I had no idea, honestly I just came in here for a coffee."

"Oh God I'm so sorry, please don't be offended," she apologized. "Boy am I glad you're not all, like, slapping me and storming out or anything. Thank you. We get straight girls stumbling in here but usually we can spot them a mile away and leave them well alone."

Not only a pick-up joint, but a gay pick-up joint. Oh brother.

"I didn't know," I said. Looking around the shop I finally noticed the rainbow flags discretely placed around the entrance and counter area. And I looked more carefully at the other clientele. "Oh."

"What I'm killing myself over is, I've never been wrong in sensing vibes. My radar must have been off but I was getting the correct signals from you. I'm really really sorry for hassling you. Will you believe me if I say I'm a poor representative from Britain? I don't want you to get the wrong impression," she pleaded.

I laughed heartily. She looked perplexed.

"Your radar wasn't all off, it was only half off. It's ok, your reputation is saved," I said. "And I'm not offended."

"So if you're not here to meet new ... ohhh," the lightbulb finally popped on in her head. "I see."

"I'm flattered, really. But I'm, um, kinda unavailable. Totally unavailable," I said.

"Gotcha," she was silent for a long moment, then finished her coffee in one gulp and stood up. "It's been real nice talking to you and I would've wanted to continue our discussion but it's been badly scuppered by the foot I stuffed into my mouth, I'm going off to salvage what's left of my wounded pride now. Enjoy the rest of your stay, I mean it."

I returned the smile. "Nice to meet you too. And, good luck tonight."

Finally I was alone, but I kept thinking back at the conversation with the girl. She was asking me out. Me, shy wall-flower Tara, got asked out by a nice English girl. Who must have thought me somewhat attractive, wow. Freaky-Tara never got asked anything, let alone out, in high school and I met Willow freshman year. This was a new experience.

"I'm sorry to bother you again, are you sure? I mean, you're so beautiful and mesmerizing and I'm embarrassing myself again but are you sure you don't want to come to the gig tonight? No strings, just have a good time. Bring your other half. I'd totally want to see you there," she gushed, having returned without my noticing.

I gave her a half-smile, one raised eye-brow and our eyes met. No need for words.

"Ok, loud and clear. I'm outta here. Bye," she made a rather undignified exit.

I was deciding on whether to get another drink when a shadow fell over the table and a red-headed shape plonked herself down next to me.

I groaned and was ready for a retort. "Look, I—"

I stopped myself as I realized it was another redhead. My redhead, whose hair shone brighter than any flame and whose mere presence brought shivers to my entire being.

"All done. No more work for, well, for a while anyway," her voice, as music chimed inside my ears.

"Will, how much do you want me?" I breathed.

"Want you? Always and forever, Baby. Nothing compares. Now, what brought this on? It's me isn't it? I'm being all worker girl-y and ignoring you."

I threw my arms round her and kissed her hard and long, the sort of kiss we never brought out of the bedroom. She was initially taken by surprise by the publicness but it didn't take her long to melt into our embrace.

It was going to be a wonderful day, a wonderful night and a wonderful life.

*****

The End


Last edited by watty on Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods (short stories)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:20 pm 
That was just so sweet. The language was beautiful and the banter between Tara and her "first" redhead was light and fun. I can't wait for more!







Trom's Brain: Rubbing the World the Wrong Way



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods (short stories)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:17 pm 
wonderfully sophisticated! but what got me to delurk was the reference to double cuffs. oh how i love them! it's been a very long time since i've worn those tho', thanks for the memories. :)



y'know, i hope willow irons her own cuffs and doesn't leave tara to do them. ;D



a beautiful story. it's a pleasure to see them in a realistic future.



best,

~e



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 Post subject: more feedback
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:52 am 
hello again watson :)



Quote:
Scotland's this district of London




lol! i love it :) not that i'm bitter or anything... also really enjoyed this story - are you doing more short ones? i hope so :)



blue



by the way, do you know where there actually might be funny red-heads lurking in london? i'll be on the lookout :D



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 Post subject: re: Coffee moods
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:56 am 
Hi-ya Watson...I really enjoyed this short. You painted the scene so well. I felt like I was there in that little shop listening to the conversation. And I got a good laugh when she discovered she had stumbled into a gay pick-up spot. Then topped off by the very sweet ending. Nicely done.



~Cyd






All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people.

~Eugene Pallette in My Man Godfrey (1936)



Altered Shadows



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 Post subject: Re: re: Coffee moods
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:44 am 
This was absolutely amazing..so wonderful. Love sam xx

"Sometimes things happen between people that you don't really expect. And sometimes the things that are important are the ones that seem the weirdest or the most wrong. And those are the ones that change your life." - Jessie Sammler (Evan Rachel Wood)



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 Post subject: Re: re: Coffee moods
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:05 am 
I just felt compelled to say how much I enjoyed this fic. You are truly the master of "show, not tell." Throughout the fic Tara was in conversation with a girl who was hitting on her. Willow was only physically present for the very last part, and barely said 2 sentences, yet her presence was so omnipresent everywhere that there is no question that this is all about T/W and only them and no other.



:clap :clap :clap :clap :clap



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 Post subject: Replies
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:39 pm 
Thank you to everyone for reading and especially to the kittens who left comment, my sincere thanks. No, no update, not yet, just replies.



TromDeGrey - thank you, thank you, thank you! I started writing this and realized it was too heavy, glad you like the lighter version, the interaction between Tara and the girl was actually pretty easy to write, cos she's such an open and generous character who will attract anyone looking (even though she doesn't realize it and is not looking for it). Again, my thanks for your support.



Elizabeth - I got you to delurk, oh my. Why am I not surprised you like double cuffs, Poet's Shirt much? I think in their household they share the housework, no brownies to help out, I afraid. I actually saw these beautiful handpainted cufflinks during a visit to London, I was walking around while my girl was at a meeting, and I did end up at Carnaby Street. I didn't buy the cufflinks though. But for you (and everyone, we have to share), here's a pair I do own that I think are perfect for Willow.



cufflinks.jpg



Mods - I hope it's okay to post images in this thread, please let me know if that's not allowed.



bluemote - let me guess, you're from ... Scotland! I'm surprised no one from Wales has gone after me for the whale joke. Am I doing any more short stories? Yes I am, but I won't post as often as Common Areas though. Thanks for reading.



hermitfish - hi again. Thank you! It helped that I thought of the story while I was in London, walking around the West End, and having a strange reaction to a nice shop assistant talking to me in one of the shops. Although I'm not sure if such places actually exist in London (anyone?). Like I said to Thom above, it was easy to write the dialog between Tara and the stranger cos Tara is so easy to write.



sam - thank you, thank you.



bullko - oops, your first post is here, I made a boo-boo over at CA, sorry. It was a concern, that the story wasn't W/T enough to fit into the Pens rules. The intention has always been that this is a story about Tara's feelings for Willow, no matter how hard other people try to interject or butt in, nothing can come between them. Thanks.





Edited to fix image. Note to self: put in public images folder.



------

quiet thoughts

Edited by: hidden watson at: 1/23/05 8:15 am


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 Post subject: Re: Replies
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:21 pm 
That's so funny! Poor single English girl, trying to pick up Tara. Not that I could blame her, really... but oh well. And those cufflinks are fantastic and indeed, perfect for Willow.

I got bitten by a drunk lesbian! Does that mean I'll turn into one?



~my friend Mary



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 Post subject: Re: Replies
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:48 pm 
I liked this short story. I could totally see Willow wearing that type of shirt with cufflinks. Tara stumbling across a pick-up place is quite amusing. Very Tara-like to not be used to people thinking that she was desirable, even though we all know that is not the case... I'd be happy to read more short stories should you post them. :)



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 Post subject: Re: Replies
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:09 am 
Loved this very sweet and hooking. want more cause i think this has the potential to become an addictive fic



More soon please



Silent :bigwave

It's like I can't breathe, It's like I can't see anything, Nothing but you, I'm addicted to you



- Kelly Clarkson "Addicted"



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 Post subject: Coffee Moods #2 : Educating Dawn
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:25 am 
Replies first.



Tempest Duer - yes, poor single English girl, and who can blame her for trying to pick up the beautiful Ms Maclay. She surely has good taste, but alas the beautiful Ms Maclay is very much spoken for. Thanks for dropping by.



Willow18 - thank you! Those cufflinks seem to be a big hit with the kittens. Tara is way more desirable than she gives herself credit for, so it's not surprising that she got hit on.



silentinformer - addictive? Thank you so much! *huge grin*. Next story is just below.










Title: Coffee Moods

Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)

Distribution: please email me first

Rating: PG to NC-17, see individual entries for rating

Disclaimer: BtVS characters, concepts and dialog belong to Mutant Enemy, Fox, The WB, UPN and others. The stories contained here are of a personal nature, non-commercial, not for sale or profit, and may not be sold or reproduced for commercial purposes.

Summary: Thoughts and frivolities in a coffee sort of way.



*****





Coffee Moods #2: Educating Dawn



Summary: Willow and Tara have coffee with Dawn and Janice.

Setting: Around season 4

Rating: PG







I had been there many times before, of course. It was a regular haunt for the gang, just like the Magic Shop and the Bronze and the hospital ER. I shouldn't be this nervous, I mean, with the amount of time I spent in Spike's crypt I should have a heart as strong as, well, the Slayer's little sister.



Janice and I had decided to do the grown-up thing and meet at the Espresso Pump for coffee. This was what grown-ups did, right? They ordered complicated sounding drinks, read newspapers without pictures and discussed the state of the world, that was what they did, right?



We were in junior high now, so going to McDonald's or the food court at the mall was so passé, we had seen our sisters and their friends spend time at coffee shops, so why not us? We could talk about current affairs and make important decisions too. Not decisions that would change the world, but surely what to wear to homecoming, or who would be next year's Razorback quarterback, or what mishaps we wished on nasty Kirsty, these were important matters to be discussed, were they not?



I had visited before, of course, but always with Buffy or Willow or one of the others, and they ordered for me, usually hot chocolate or iced tea. But now it was time to try the coffee. It was just coffee, wasn't it, how hard could it be to get a cup of coffee?



Janice found seats while I went to make our orders.



The nice owner lady wasn't there, instead it was a dopey looking college boy with a tight black T-shirt and a "don't come near me" attitude. But I wasn't afraid of him, ha!



"What can I get you?" he asked politely enough.



"Er, 2 regular coffees, please," I ventured. I knew Buffy and Willow and Tara usually went for the mocha, but for our first experience, Janice and I thought we should start from the basics.



"Which blend?" he asked again.



"Huh?" Blend? As in type? Or mix? This was beginning to get confusing.



"Blend. Roast. Ok, I'll make it easy for you: weak, strong or decaf?" he explained.



"Oh, I know definitely not decaf. Um, weak," I replied, beginning to sound uncertain.



"Black or white?" he sprang another choice, when did it end?



"With cream please," I replied. This was how Mom took coffee at home, she added cream, so I should be on safe ground. Should I?



"So, full fat, yeah?" he was on the edge of losing his patience, I could feel it.



"Er, yes."



"Size?"



"What?"



"Small, medium or large. You've never done this before have you kid?"



"Have too!" I protested, though not as strongly as I wanted.



"Really," he smirked.



I felt a bravado that, under the circumstances, was totally unfounded. "Look, it doesn't matter either way. I'm the paying customer here, so please, just serve me my order, all I want is 2 cups of basic coffee."



"I need to make sure I know what your order is first," he retorted. "You haven't even told me if you want flavoring or extra froth or what, I can't complete the order if I don't know all of the requirements can I?"



I was about to throw a comeback at him when I felt familiar arms around my shoulders.



"Why don't we do this. Two tall single lattes with extra milk, plus one tall double mocha with a shot of hazelnut and one cappuccino in one of those cute ceramic bowls Mrs George bought back from Mexico, please. Hi Dawnie."



I had to be honest, privately I was overjoyed that someone came to my "rescue". All the more so that it turned out to be my favorite person in the known universe.



"Hi Tara," I virtually gushed.



"Sorry for butting in and taking over your order, he's a bit mean, you don't mind?" she asked.



"Mind? No way! I, er, I don't think I was doing too well there, it's more complicated than I thought," I said meekly. "What did you order us anyway?"



"Why don't I explain after I get the drinks. Do you have seats already?" I nodded and pointed at where Janice was sitting. "Okay, go tell Willow where you are, she's just outside."



"Okay."



I was feeling sheepish when I rejoined Janice. Having to explain that I had to have help.



Luckily it was Tara. Not Buffy, or Anya, or any of the others who would have laughed at me and made me feel small. Tara never made me feel small, or treated me like an annoying baby sister.



Sometimes I felt intimidated even with Willow, she was too smart, too much of a genius. I couldn't help feel stupid when I was with her, even though she never intended to make others feel that way and she always made homework fun when I asked her a question.



She was talking to someone on the phone, so I waved and attracted her attention. She acknowledged with a wave of her hand, hung up quickly and came into the shop.



She was on her way to our table when she spotted Tara at the counter, and made a beeline toward the blonde. I smiled at her devotion, I wished I had someone who would gravitate toward me no matter where I was. I sighed dreamily.



"Hello? Earth to Dawn. Come in, come in," Janice said in my ear.



"Huh? What?" I spluttered.



"You've got that dreamy look again, what or who are you thinking of? Spill," she teased.



"Oh, no. Just waiting for Willow and Tara, they're getting our drinks," I sighed.



"They're your sister's friends, aren't they?" Janice asked.



"Yeah. Willow is Buffy's best friend since high school. And Tara, well, Tara's with Willow," I added.



"School friends, cool. May be they can introduce us to some cute college boys," Janice said.



"Oh, I'm not sure that's — I mean it's embarrassing, to ask them. Buffy'll have a fit. Anyway they're not so much interested in college boys, they're with each other," I hoped I managed to emphasize the correct word.



"With? Define with?" Janice questioned.



I learnt all about boyfriends and girlfriends from books and TV, where else could I have learnt? Buffy and Angel? Xander and Cordelia, Anya? Spike and Drusilla? The most normal relationship I had seen growing up was Willow and Oz and he left, and she could not stop crying for weeks and weeks.



Mostly my thoughts on the matter of relationships were mostly, "ewww!" To me, it really was over-rated. When I was little, I always imagined I would find a Prince Charming like all the heroines in my storybooks, and we'd ride off into the sunset to his castle and live happily ever after. Then as I grew up, I found that all the boys my age at school were so bleh, none of them were anywhere close to being a prince charming.



Romance was hard.



But Willow and Tara? They ROCK. Seeing them together was so sweet. Love doesn't have to be all Romeo and Juliet and tragic endings, we read that last semester and it was a cryfest.



Going back to Janice's question. "As in they're together," I explained.



"Together?"



"Yeah, like this," I crossed my fingers.



"Oh. Like, girlfriends?" Janice asked, a mixture of surprise and unease evident on her features.



"More than that, they're soulmates. Come on, don't tell me you have a problem with it," I challenged.



She looked dubious and stayed quiet.



"You gotta be joking," I continued, exasperatedly. I couldn't believe it. My best friend, turning into a hypocrite. Unaccepting of other people. And the number of times we talked about being tolerant.



"I'm not! It's just that I, er, I've never met any g-g-," she trailed off, the word stuck in her throat.



"Gay people. G-A-Y. Geez, didn't we talk about being open minded and not judging people by their exterior?" I asked.



"I know," she replied. "But this is new for me. I mean, will they, like, try to convert me or something, cos I don't think I'm that way."



I rolled my eyes. "They won't do that, they're the most romantic people, like, ever. Even more so than anything you read in Teen People."



Janice was about to object more when Willow and Tara arrived with our coffees.



"So what's with the intense conversation?" Willow asked.



"Oh, nothing," Janice mumbled and she involuntarily moved back an inch.



"We were talking about you," the words were out of my mouth before I knew it.



Tara shot me a quick look. "Nothing bad I hope," she said.



"Oh no, no," I exclaimed. Then I saw Janice's expression and I was sure Tara did too, because her eyes narrowed and her brow crinkled in the beginnings of a frown. "Oh, um, what about them coffee?"



Tara and Willow exchanged a very brief glance, I had always imagined they could communicate telepathically and this was one of those times.



"Right, for Janice and Dawn, one latte each," Willow said as she handed us our drinks.



I took a sip, it was hot but creamy. In the interest of keeping the conversation to neutral subjects I asked, "So, Tara, how did you know what to order us?"



She looked at me for a second more than necessary, I cringed inside. She can read my thoughts, yikes.



"I thought you should start with the basics, a latte has quite a lot of milk, so the coffee taste isn't so strong, it's one of the most popular drink," she said.



"It's milky alright, but I can taste the coffee too, it's good," I said, while sipping my new adult drink. "What are you having?"



"I'm having a cappuccino, it uses milk that's been steamed, hence the foam on top. Will's having a double mocha which is 2 shots of coffee, topped with milk, chocolate and whipped cream. Here at the Espresso Pump they use chocolate powder, some other places use syrup," Tara summarized.



"You got me a double? Afraid that I'll fall asleep on you tonight?" Willow asked wickedly as she sat down next to Tara. They had this air of easy companionship about them that was so obvious.



Tara blushed and smiled shyly, she had the same expression that usually meant the two of them would disappear someplace for a while. Anya would then make an inappropriate comment and Xander would try to shut her up. Buffy would try to change the subject and Giles just wiped his glasses a lot.



But she recovered and turned to ask Janice, "Are you alright, Janice? Do you like it?" she asked gently. Janice had been quiet since Willow and Tara joined us, I hoped she wouldn't freak out like she was about to do.



But she seemed be chilling. "This is nice," she said with a smile.



"So you've finally decided to embrace the world of coffee," Tara said.



We both nodded.



"Good for you," Tara continued, but soon caught Willow's eye and they started their private little communication thing again, which was embarrassing me massively. Janice was watching them carefully with a curious expression, I spied a thin smile at the corners of her mouth though. I cleared my throat.



"So, how do you know what you, um, like?" I asked no one in particular.



"It's like any choice in life, sometimes it just comes to you," Willow answered, her eyes fixed on Tara.



"Yeah, you usually have an idea of what you like, or not like, then it's just a matter of finding it, but sometimes you luck out and it finds you instead," Tara echoed.



"Or you might like one thing, or think you like it, but then something happens that make you change completely and start liking other things instead," Willow added.



"Then you know this is what you've always wanted, your whole life," Tara started.



"And you can't imagine ever not having it in your life, ever," Willow finished.



"Um, guys. We're talking about coffee, right?" I tried to interrupt.



It took them a while for my question to sink in, then Willow snapped out of it first.



"Right. Yeah. Coffee," she spluttered.



Next to me, Janice sniggered. "You guys were telling us how you find out which flavor is for you."



"To be honest, I can't remember. I guess it's a matter of picking one that sounds interesting and see if you like it. Most people stick to what they prefer once they find what they like, most don't change, or go and try new flavors," Tara said.



"But some do, and then they find the something they feel is more them," Willow added.



"True."



"Sounds like a lot of things in life," Janice chipped in. At our surprised look, she continued, "It's true! And not just for coffee, it's like picking Coke over Pepsi, or something simple as shampoo or as complicated as religion. So many choices in life and most people are too set in their ways to try something different."



"You have a good point," Tara said.



"Even, even, people. Relationships," Janice remarked resolutely.



Both Willow and Tara smiled. Willow reached and took Tara's hand in hers and their smile broadened. I glanced at Janice, she was smiling too.



"Hmm, this latte's great. Can I try something else next time?" I asked.



"You know, I wrote a little program that generates drinks orders according to choices you put in, for those moments when all you know is you want something caffeinated but can't quite decide. It has everything on the Espresso Pump menu, you can try it out next time," Willow said.



"Nah, I want to make my own mind up."



Coffee? It's like everything else in life. It may take a while to find your perfect cup, but it's out there.



*****





The End





------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods #2 : Educating Dawn
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:19 am 
Another great coffee time tale! I like how you changed things up a bit by telling it from Dawn's perspective.



Favourite quote:

Quote:
Love doesn't have to be all Romeo and Juliet and tragic endings




And nicely done with the finding the 'right' coffee discussion.



Quote:
Coffee? It's like everything else in life. It may take a while to find your perfect cup, but it's out there.


Good ender!



-wiccanbotanist

"If truth is stranger than fiction then where are the flying monkeys?" - Daria

Sugas mea papilium (Suck my butterfly) - A Woman in Uniform by umgaynow



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 Post subject: Lovely
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:31 am 
What a great piece. So happy that you decided to not stop with the first short story. I have to say that I miss soy lattes (ohhh, and a few shots of gingerbread during the holiday season). mmmmm, can't wait to have a cup sometime. Hope you continue! Cheers :peace



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods (short stories - #2 updated 2.10.05)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:17 pm 
Oh! New story! Yay!



*looks around sheepishly after outburst*



Loved the new one. It's nice to see something from Dawnie's POV. I've never ordered a coffee but it sounds complicated. I'm glad Tara was there for the save. Love the W/T sweetness. And Willow being all saucy with the double mocha comment. Glad to see Janice didn't totally freak. Nice double meaning with the coffee metaphor for life. :)



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:49 pm 
I'm glad to see a continuation of these shorts. This one was also well done and has a really great message. Perhaps more was learned that day than just coffee. Lovely.



~Cyd




When I'm sitting here with you, I don't even think about the slime people.

~The very romantic lead in The Slime People (1962)



Altered Shadows



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:39 pm 
That was so great.I loved it!!! :love . Is there going to be more? Love sam xx

"Sometimes things happen between people that you don't really expect. And sometimes the things that are important are the ones that seem the weirdest or the most wrong. And those are the ones that change your life." - Jessie Sammler (Evan Rachel Wood)



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 3:08 pm 
WOW, I so enjoyed those. PLEASE, can we get some more??? Great work and hope to see more soon!!! =)

Aaron

'Tarababy77'


"Don't buy into all the media crap. Love yourself for who you are, not what others THINK you should look like. It's DEFINITELY more important in this life to love each other despite our imperfections." - Amber Benson



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:59 am 
Aww this is so sweet. MORE PLEEEEEAAASSSSSEEEEEE :peace

------------------------------------------------------------------

"I'm realistic about love. People shape love into what they

want love to be and it always bounces back to its natural

shape and smashes you out of the way."



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:38 am 
Awwww!! Both of those were adorable. More soon, please.





brittney





~Good friends help you move. Real friends help you move the body.~



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:38 pm 
Was Willow comparing Tara to coffee? What a great metaphor...

I got bitten by a drunk lesbian! Does that mean I'll turn into one?



~my friend Mary



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:43 pm 
I'll have a Cinnamon Spice Mocha and throw a Tara on top please.



Cute stuff!



terra



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:23 am 
We can get Tara on top, here? :shock



I'll order the same!

------------------------------------------------------------------

"I'm realistic about love. People shape love into what they

want love to be and it always bounces back to its natural

shape and smashes you out of the way."



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:22 pm 
Well.. what happens when I don't like coffee??! Can I have a Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Tara on top? :paranoid



Well.. either way.. these lil stories are a great read :D



Can't wait for more!

Ashleigh

"...A-and I'm gonna make it up to you. Starting right now."

(Starts to smile)"Right now?"



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 Post subject: Coffee Moods #2 : Educating Dawn
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:08 am 
Aww these coffee moods fics are awesome. They are short, yet fullfilling. I Love Them! Keep them coming.



Willow and Tara are so sweet and romantic in this fic, it just makes you appreciate your own relationships more and more knowing that similar things are done in the eyes of the author, as to what happens in your own real life relationship. And you can see how other people respond and feel and embrace a couple that are so obviously in love.



Does that make sense? lol anywho, awesome! truely awesome!



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 Post subject: Replies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:34 am 
Replies, then a much more adult #3.



wiccanbotanist - thank you! The first person perspective is deliberate, I will be continuing in this format for the next few updates. Glad you enjoyed this short, angst-free, little tale.





serendipitous - soy latte with gingerbread sounds delicious, here's one for you. I have a few more tales up my sleeve, so I will continue.





Willow18 - yay to you for catching the double mocha comment and the metaphor. There's so many things we can use to compare Life with, choices, conveyor belt, a house full of memories. It's just Life.





Cyd -
Quote:
Perhaps more was learned that day than just coffee.
I'm sure, and I'm glad you liked it.





sam darls -
Quote:
Is there going to be more?
Yep, at least 3 more.





TaraBaby77 - sure thing, here's one more little tale.





lil fled - thanks! here it is. And yes, re: your later comment, Tara does come on top here.





amazonaa - wow, so many requests for more. I'm touched. And to show my appreciation, here's the next tale.





Tempest Duer -
Quote:
Was Willow comparing Tara to coffee?
methinks she might be, at least the choosing and experimenting and finding what you want part.





terra21 -
Quote:
I'll have a Cinnamon Spice Mocha and throw a Tara on top please.
oh this is hilarious! Tara on top! I'll have anything with Tara on top please.





VixenyTarasHot - my dear Ashleigh, at café watson you can get Tara on top of anything you desire, so cinnamon hot chocolate, no problemo.





mkittyf - you've hit it right on the head. W/T are obviously a cute, fantastic, wonderful, lovely ... couple. And their flawless relationship is certainly something we all want in our lives. Even if our own relationship isn't as perfect, it's already heartwarming to realize the extent of love that's possible. Hope that makes sense.

------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Coffee Moods #3 : Indulgences
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:42 am 
Title: Coffee Moods

Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)

Distribution: please email me first

Rating: PG to NC-17, see individual entries for rating

Disclaimer: BtVS characters, concepts and dialog belong to Mutant Enemy, Fox, The WB, UPN and others. The stories contained here are of a personal nature, non-commercial, not for sale or profit, and may not be sold or reproduced for commercial purposes.

Summary: Thoughts and frivolities in a coffee sort of way.



*****





Coffee Moods #3: Indulgences



Summary: Your body is a perfect landscape, there are plains, mountains, peaks and valleys, secluded forests, rivers and streams. Simply, a perfect canvas.

Setting: AU. Around season 6. W/T have not met.

Rating: NC-17





Part 1/2



I was enjoying some rare (and much needed) peace and quiet at the Espresso Pump. Just me and my laptop and indulging in some personal time to go online. In one window, chatting with other witches and wicca. In another I opened the IRC channel where the talk was all javascript and PERL and kluges. Yep, that was typical me, where magic and computers have equal places in my life.



The racket at the house was fast becoming unbearable and I needed to escape.



Xander and Anya's endless bickering over nothing and everything. It seemed that the only time they didn't fight was when they were doing the pokey and no, I wasn't trying to be crude, just truthful.



Buffy and Spike pretending that nothing was happening but who were they kidding, everyone knew they were sleeping together. Seriously, did they think people were blind, deaf and had no sense of smell?



Dawn's whining. Sigh.



Giles not stepping up and being the adult, though it was unfair to expect him to be the authority figure, except, well, he was the oldest and a watcher.



Patrol was fast becoming a farce for the Scooby gang. Xander and Anya could never keep quiet so sneaking up on vamps was out of the question. Buffy's lame excuses everytime, when she did not come back to the house with us. Lately, she had been patrolling on her own and nobody said anything.



Sometimes I felt lonely, to be on my own inside a group, considering what we had been through. Especially at the Bronze where my job had been reduced to coat watcher or table sentry. Or at the research table at the Magic Shop where I always sat by myself. Even at school, since Buffy had dropped out I had no one to go to classes with.



But that was the life I chose for myself when I decided to stay in Sunnydale. Pastures new were not enough, I felt I had my part to play in the fight. So I stayed.



Regrets? Sometimes. But I had to think of the big picture.



I sipped my mocha and, noticing it was nearly empty, waved at Mrs George to get a refill. She was talking to another customer but she acknowledged me with a nod of her head.



The customer left and she ambled over, carrying a cup of mocha.



"Thanks Mrs George," I said sincerely.



"No problem, Willow. Listen, I need to move you to another table, we're putting some paintings up on the wall behind you," said Mrs George. "The artist is coming in with them now."



"Sure thing," I said amiably, gathering my stuff and setting up at a table away from the wall.



At the corner of my eye I noted Mr and Mrs George busying themselves together with another shape who was presumably the artist. But my focus was on the very, ahem, interesting fanfic story I was reading so I barely noticed the commotion or the hammering.



Until a painful sounding "Ooomph!" followed by a sickening sound of ripping material finally caught my attention. I glanced up to see Mr George precariously balancing a large framed picture in one hand, while with the other trying to catch his balance on the nearest solid object. Mrs George had an armful of tousled blonde hair and deadweight which she was busy propping up.



I sprang up to see if I could help. Then I noticed it was a girl Mrs George was helping.



Her face wincing with pain and one arm at an awkward angle, tears were threatening to form in her eyes, which a part of my mind, the part which was still lingering inside the fantasyland of the fanfic I was reading, noted were the most azure blue and her hair was the color of sunrise.



"Want some help?" I offered, and without waiting for an answer, took the girl's arm as gently as I could and led her to a nearby chair. Which happened to be the other chair at my table.



"Thanks," said Mrs George. "Can you look after her while I dial 911?"



"N-n-no, I'm fine," said the girl through gritted teeth.



"Nonsense, Tara. You took a bad fall and I think your arm's broken," Mrs George insisted.



"No, I'm okay. It's only a sprain, I'll be fine, just need to catch my breath," said the girl Tara. She flexed her arm to show it was not broken. Looked bruised though.



"I think you'll have a nasty bruise there," I ventured.



She flashed me a quick look, probably noticing me for the first time, and her eyes! How they sparkled.



"Yeah, you're probably right," she admitted.



"Do you want something, a drink?" I asked.



"May be some water," she said slowly.



"I'll get it," said Mrs George.



I sat back down at my perch, discretely closing the story window on my laptop and bringing up another page.



When Mrs George brought the water back, I noticed that her shirt was torn and when she reached for the glass, some of her skin was visible through the tear, I could see the top of her breast, the silken material becoming taut as she stretched out.



My mouth grew dry and I subconsciously licked my parched lips. I should say something to her, before it got embarrassing.



I reached for my jacket.



"Here, you must be cold. Put this on while you warm up," I said as I handed over my jacket.



"Um, well, I'm not cold," she stammered.



"It might be better if you wrapped it round yourself," I tried to explain subtly, glancing at her exposed side.



She seemed to realize the state of her shirt. "Oh," she exclaimed. "Y-y-yes. Thanks."



"Don't mention it."



We returned to our own enclosed space, separated by invisible private walls we erected ourselves for protection, but not knowing exactly what against.



I sneaked looks at her while I was ostensibly working on my laptop. Her hair, her skin, her everything screamed out to me. Toucha, toucha, touch me, they implored, just like that song from that show. I imagined how soft she would feel, how warm it would be to be wrapped in her arms, how our bodies would fit against each other in a cocoon.



I took a deep cleansing breath.



"So, er, you the artist then?" I asked, indicating the picture that Mr George had finally put up on the wall. A large imposing one of a black and white cat in various poses, each capturing its character, ferocity and life. I felt like I could just reach out and stroke her and feel her soft fur against my palms.



"Yes," she replied simply.



"It's nice. I'm not very good at the whole art appreciation thing, I can't describe how a painting looks like, the play of colors, the texture, the symbolism. All I can say is, I look at the picture and I feel it's solid, like it's a real cat. Do you understand what I'm trying to say?" I said, rather ineffectively trying to compliment her work.



"She's my cat, her name's Miss Kitty," she said quietly.



"She's lovely," I added.



"Do you come here often? You seem to know the owners well," she said.



"I've been a customer ever since I discovered coffee and chocolate was a match made in heaven and had pocket money to buy it. Must have drunk thousands of cups of Mrs George's brew, me and my friends are regulars," I smiled. "And you?"



"I'm new in town, but I've been coming ever since I moved here. Not a huge choice of cafés around," she smiled.



I laughed. "Yeah, Sunnydale's not much of a town. Why did you move here, may I ask? Work?"



"Oh, no. Not yet. I'm a student at UCS," she replied.



"Really? Me too. How come we never met?" I wondered.



"What's your major?"



"Computer Science."



"Art. I think we hang out in different parts of the campus."



"Must be," I agreed.



We talked about many different things, general things, nothing too personal or specific. Conversation with her was easy and time sped past.



Until I glanced at the clock and realized it was nearly time for patrol.



Reluctantly I explained I had to go home but would be here at the same time the next day.



She smiled the most glorious, brightest smile and said she would probably be here too. Just to get coffee, of course, and to help put up the rest of her paintings.



As we both made our way out, her hands brushed over mine and I almost screamed.



Three weeks passed; we met over coffee numerous times, usually talking of the unimportant things. Movies, books, music, her art, my programs. Other things that didn't need to be spoken out loud. I want her.



We were sitting at the soft, deep, slightly threadbare couch at the corner, the one where it took some effort to stand up. Squashed as close as possible, my arm resting lightly on her thigh, her fingers tracing simple patterns on the back of my hand.



It was time to go again, she pulled herself up with a groan of effort and extended her hand to help me up. I stood up a little more forcefully than either of us expected and found ourselves barely millimeters apart.



It would be so easy, just move forward half a step, and we could be touching.



Our lips came together for the first time and it was like fire.



She murmured into my lips. "Are you doing anything Wednesday?"



"Classes. Meeting you. Nothing else."



"Meet me here, after lunch? Don't make any other plans?"



"Hmmm."



Wednesday rolled by and I made sure I did as she asked. We greeted each other with soft, tender kisses. We held hands and said nothing for a long minute, ridiculous grins painted on our faces.



"Can I paint you?" she asked suddenly.



Images of nubile young forms frolicking in lakes and streams came to mind. I was sure she did not mean a portrait. "Okay."



She swallowed and looked troubled. "No, I mean, paint you. On you," she whispered and a blush crept up her neck to her cheeks and ears.



Ah. I lifted her chin and kissed her softly. "Yes," I said in the clearest, strongest voice I could muster.



I grew tingly all over at the sight of that lop-sided grin.



*****





TBC.



I know I upped the rating, it's in the next part ...

------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods #3 : Indulgences
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:45 am 
here i am having a lousy day at work, and then this little fic comes along to make my day better-so thanx for that. could very much relate to the hiding the fanfic window, i've done that a couple of times this morning already. i liked the pace of this, and willow's gesture with the jacket, very sweet. this almost reads like an gentler version of your common areas fic; still with the miss kitty painting, but minus the roller coaster of angst. looking forward to part 2 of this!~mary

you're dangerous, 'cause you're honest
you're dangerous, you don't know what you are U2



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods #3 : Indulgences
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:04 am 
*sigh...* I just found these, Watson... wow... That was so romantic.... I love the way they were drawn together right from the start...pulled first into friendship flecked with a tinge of something more...I like the way their relationship is naturally evolving...the pace is wonderful. I can't wait for the next chapter.



I love the way you've characterized them here... They are so soft....if that makes any sense..



oh well...I should go. I'm not feeling good :( and probably making very little sense at the moment.





xoxo

Emms

I can wax philisophically on a variety of different subjects...that doesn't,however, mean that I have anything constructive to add to the conversation.

--- Me



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 Post subject: Re: Coffee Moods #3 : Indulgences
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:36 am 
Watson Watson Watson! This has cheered me up like you'd never think a fic could cheer me up. And, painting! Sounds very... messy actually, but brushes, and stroking. Sounds heavenly.

I'll be waiting for the next part. :grin Kudos!

-------------------



"See? I've mastered this tact crap." Anya in Tears Of The Goddess by Lisa



The course of love doesn’t always run smooth, especially for the neurotic and accident-prone. ~ LadyB



.:Dark-bliss.net :. .:Blink.Flash.Sparkle.:. .:My blog:. .:Blood and Ink:. .:Washi's 70s Site:.



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