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

General Chat  || Kitten  || WaV  || Pens  || Mi2  || GMP  || TiE  || FAQ  || Feed - The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe

All times are UTC - 8 hours



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 126 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:23 pm 
Offline
5. Willowhand

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:03 pm
Posts: 325
First off, thanks for posting in the update thread. Muchly appreciated.

Second, wonderful update. The talk with Xander was interesting, although not quite the answers that I think that Willow was fishing for. Howeveer, since Willow's trying to figure things out for herself, I don't think that she could have guided Xander any further without drawing attention to herself. Then again, Xander might not have noticed if she did.

Loved how you have Tara worrying over telling Willow. It is very realistic as well as her putting it off for the night. It's gotta be wearing on her at this point. She wants to be honest with Willow, yet is afraid that she's going to lose her in the process. Excellent update and evil cliffhanger. Although, you did warn us, so I forgive you. ;)

Keep up the great work.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:55 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
Disclaimer This is all my own work but only in the sense that I stole the characters, situations and story arc from Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon.

Background Season 4 and finally we are closing in the floating rose although that come in the next update.

Feedback Any and all feedback welcome and please don't be shy with criticism, I need to improve.



Between The Lines


Chapter Five – Lies

“I will stay,” Tara hesitated and nervously met Willow’s gaze, “I have something that I have to tell you.”

Willow stiffened at the unfamiliar tone in Tara’s voice, so far she had never heard her friend so serious but clearly whatever was on her mind was important and that thought made Willow very nervous indeed. “Is something wrong?” Please no.

“I d-don’t know, I want to…, this is so h-hard.” Tara dropped her eyes from Willow’s gaze.

“Tara,” Willow could see that whatever it was the blonde girl was terribly distressed as she struggled to find the words. “What is it? Did I do something?” Had Tara noticed the way she had been looking at her during the movie? Had her face betrayed the emotions that she had been trying so hard to keep to herself? That must be it, Tara had realised what Willow’s eyes were saying when they looked at her and she was about to tell her that she was leaving and she never wanted to see her again.

Tara looked up and started to speak, at least that was the intention but her voice had completely disappeared, her heart was thudding so loudly in her chest that it seemed it must be audible for miles around, there was a roaring sound in her ears and a prickling sensation of unshed tears in her eyes. Nothing could have prepared her for how hard this was going to be, coming out was traumatic enough but to do so to Willow, the person she already knew she could not live without, it felt like the effort of speaking itself might kill her. The words were on the tip of her tongue and she burned with the need to reveal herself to Willow but no matter how rational she tried to be she could not escape the fear that once she spoke she would lose Willow forever, that fear lay like ice around her heart.

“Please Tara,” Willow’s voice began to break, “I’m sorry, whatever I did I’m sorry, please tell me.”

The obvious distress in Willow’s voice finally broke Tara free from the paralysis that had gripped her, now she was upsetting the girl she loved, she was doing this all wrong but now she had begun she had to go through with it.

“H-hush Willow,” Tara began to reach out to comfort her friend but her courage failed her and she dropped her arm back to her side, “it’s n-not anything that you have done, it’s me, I have to tell you the truth.”

The sound of Tara’s voice dispelled some of the initial panic Willow had felt but still she could not shake the fear that something terrible was about to happen. If it wasn’t something she had done then what could it be? Tara seemed to have some secret she wanted to share, clearly some terrible sort of secret from the agony on her face as she struggled to find the words to continue. No matter what this terrible secret was Willow knew in an instant that she would deal with it and be strong for Tara, none of the terrors and pain she had experienced fighting at Buffy’s side had scared or hurt her more than the look of distress on Tara’s face right now. No matter what it was she could not allow this girl she loved to experience any pain or suffering if she could do anything to stop it.

“I don’t know how, I mean I don’t have the right w-words,” Tara’s voice, barely a whisper, trailed off again.

Suddenly decisive, Willow stood and took Tara’s hands in her own before gently coaxing her back to the bed. “Tara it’s ok, it’s just me and you can tell me anything you want to.” Ignoring her own feelings of distress Willow continued, “I don’t need to know if it’s too hard for you to say, I can forget this and I won’t push for answers but if it’s hurting you then tell me and I promise to make it better if I can.”

“I am so s-scared that you will hate me,” Tara was scared but the compassion in Willow’s eyes and the gentleness with which she held her hands re-assured her, “I should have told you before but I wanted a friend so badly and if I had t-told you straight away.” Tara paused again leaving the thought that Willow might not have wanted to get to know her unsaid. “I lied to you.”

“It doesn’t matter, if you were scared maybe you felt you had no choice,” Willow squeezed Tara’s hand, trying to lend her a little strength, “I won’t be mad Tara, I tell lies sometimes, I am no angel.”

“Yes you are,” Tara managed a quick smile even though the beginnings of tears still stung her eyes, “you are being so sweet and you d-don’t even know.”

“So tell me,” Willow interrupted, “I promise you that when you are done I am still going to be holding your hand.”

Now the tears finally did begin to trickle down Tara’s face as she felt her heart swell at the tenderness of her friend, the fear remained and her emotions were on a wild roller coaster ride but little by little her strength returned. Willow desperately wanted to brush the tears away as she saw them fall but she had promised to keep holding Tara so she let them fall.

“I lied to you when we were talking earlier, I d-didn’t want to but it was so nice and n-normal and I wanted to fit in with your world.” Taking a deep breath Tara continued, “I never dated any b-boys back in High School, I don’t just mean not going steady I mean I n-never had a date with anyone even though I told you I did.”

“Oh Tara, is that all?” Willow smiled, “I was hardly a boy magnet myself you know, I mean the boys from your home town are blind or stupid but I don’t think you are any more or less cool because of how many guys you did or didn’t date.”

“No Willow, it’s not that.” Tara swallowed and screwing up all of the courage she could muster she forced herself to look Willow in the eyes, “I was asked, I just didn’t say yes. I didn’t want to d-date any of them.”

“So you have standards, good for you,” Willow interrupted again, “too many girls date just to fit in, you should be proud.”

“Willow,” Tara silenced her friend with the seriousness of her expression, “I didn’t want to date any of them, n-not just the ones who asked, I didn’t want to date boys.”

Willow heard the words but her brain was not functioning to its usual high standards either because she was tired or upset or both. “You didn’t like any of them?” She sought clarification but even as she asked the expression on Tara’s face told her that was not it. “You mean you don’t want to date at all?” Ok that was strange but not unheard of, some people just liked their freedom and felt they could live without relationships. Again even as she voiced the idea Tara’s eyes told her she was wrong and anyway it just did not seem right, Tara seemed too affectionate and caring a person to want to be alone through choice.

“Willow, I didn’t want to date boys because I w-wanted to date girls,” Tara finally spelled it out, “I mean I still do, I like girls.” Tara’s voice dropped almost to a whisper again as she waited for the inevitable reaction, inevitable rejection even.

“Oh Tara,” the blonde was startled to find Willow had let go of her hands and pulled her into a fierce hug, “that’s what all this was about?” Willow squeezed tighter and Tara felt she might have choked had she not been too busy floating on clouds at the closeness of their embrace. “I think it’s wonderful, I am so glad that you told me.”

Willow relaxed her hold slightly and drawing breath Tara spoke, “You think it’s wonderful?” That was a strange thing for Willow to say, Tara had hoped Willow would not react with disgust, had dared to dream that her friend would accept her but she had never expected Willow to react as though she had told her she had just won the state lottery.

“Well wonderful for you that you know, I mean you can be who you want to be and you know what that is and so many people really don’t.” Willow frantically searched for a better way to explain without blurting out that she thought it was wonderful for her as much as for Tara because now she had a chance to act on the attraction she felt. Telling Tara she liked her that way would be a bad idea right now, Tara was upset and emotional and she might very well think that she was being made fun of if Willow told her what she was feeling tonight.

“So you are ok with this, you still w-want to be friends? Tara looked hopefully at Willow, certainly with far more hope than she had felt just a few minutes earlier.

“Of course silly, this is so not an issue,” Willow squeezed Tara’s hand again to emphasise her words, “I want to be friends with you because of who you are, not because of who you might or might not want to have smoochies with.”

“You mean it don’t you? I was so s-scared to tell you.” Relief and a feeling of exultation was spreading through Tara now as she realised that it was going to be ok. Deep down she thought she had always known it would be, Willow was just too good a person to discriminate against someone over their sexuality and she ought to have had more faith.

“I do mean it and I guess the only thing that bothers me is that you felt scared, I mean if you were scared because you feel it’s a big deal then ok but I am worried that you were scared because it was me, like maybe I did something to make you feel scared about telling me.” Willow frowned as she expressed that thought, did Tara think that she was prejudiced? Had she given Tara any reason to think that?

“No, you didn’t do anything wrong,” Tara was anxious to dispel any fears Willow might have, “it’s just coming out is h-hard and how can you know how anyone will react until you tell them? I know that sometimes the people you think will accept you don’t and then others that you expected to be p-prejudiced can surprise you. It is harder and more s-scary to tell someone who really matters to you, that’s why I was scared, because you are important t-to me.” Tara felt a shy blush cover her cheeks as she finished speaking and almost immediately worried that she might have said too much. She had to make sure Willow didn’t take offence but she also could not risk Willow discovering just how much she liked her.

Willow barely registered the blush and missed altogether the brief look of concern that followed it as Tara pondered her choice of words. Before this conversation had begun Willow had been wrestling with the problems of having a crush on her new friend that she felt could never be requited, now she knew that not only was Tara gay but she had just said that she was important to her. Willow was slow to force the issue in these kind of situations, she had waited an age with Oz, and she still felt that tonight would be far too soon to make her own confession but she felt giddy at the thought that she could tell Tara soon and know that there was a good chance that the blonde would share her feelings rather than run screaming.

Tara missed all of the emotions playing out their war on Willow’s expressive face as she continued to regret her earlier choice of words. So far everything had gone better than she could have ever dreamed, Willow had accepted her revelation with an odd delight and clearly it was not going to be a problem between them. Tara knew that it would only remain so for as long as Willow did not think she was trying to make a play for her. She shook her head briefly as she considered how open and accepting her friend was, other girls might have jumped to conclusions, interpreting her revelation as Tara making a pass at them but Willow had done no such thing, not yet at least. Tara was sure that Willow would be far less comfortable if she knew how she really felt and she reminded herself of her decision that morning, Willow must never know or even suspect.

“So no dates ever?” Willow had to know, had Tara meant no dates with boys or no dates at all, as she asked Willow was amused to realise that she would be jealous if there had been other girls in Tara’s life. “I know you said no but did you mean no boys or no none at all?”

“Oh, n-none at all,” Tara smiled ruefully, “I come from a pretty small t-town so no real opportunities there and since coming to Sunnydale I have been so b-busy.”

“I guess it must be hard to meet someone,” Willow felt instant sympathy for Tara’s situation but still could not help feeling a little happy that there had been no-one else. “So are you looking for someone at the moment?” The question was loaded Willow knew but she could not miss the opportunity to find out now that Tara was opening up to her.

It was the question Tara dreaded and yet had known would come. If she was honest now she might just get everything she ever wanted and yet she could not bring herself to believe that Willow would want her that way, it was much more likely Willow would be shocked and once she had said the words they could never be taken back. Tara knew that Willow would try to understand and would promise to remain friends but inevitably their friendship would change and become more awkward as every word and gesture would take on new meaning if Willow knew that she loved her. It was far safer to deny her feelings and to shut down this line of questioning before Willow figured it out for herself.

“I would like to b-be with someone but with studying and moving to a new p-place I just haven’t met anyone yet, maybe soon I hope.” Tara hated to be dishonest and found she could not look Willow in the eye as she continued. “I don’t want to date for the wrong reasons, I want to be with someone I can l-love.”

“Well that’s good,” Willow agreed with the sentiment but it seemed Tara was trying to tell her something here, “you should wait for Miss Right not Miss Right Now.”

Tara had to finish this now, her stomach was twisting itself into knots at the thought of deceiving Willow but she had to be sure she got the message. “I was worried you might think me t-telling you tonight was a come on.”

“Oh no,” Willow had hoped it was but played along to hear what Tara had to say, “I never even considered that.”

“I really like you Willow b-but I don’t…I mean not like that, I just want to be your friend and I d-don’t want things to get weird.” Tara still could not meet Willow’s gaze as she spoke the lie she believed would spare her from heartbreak, if she had looked up she might have been surprised to see the flicker of disappointment that crossed the other girls face.

“I get it, not your type or something like that?” Willow fought to keep her voice light and cheerful even as she felt as though all of the air had been sucked from her lungs so deep was her feeling of dismay.

“Yes, s-something like that.” Tara barely whispered, unable to put too much conviction into the words she knew to be hollow.

Willow could barely believe how devastating a few words could be, the last couple of hours had seen her emotions hit such extreme highs and lows and now this was the ultimate low. The feelings she had for Tara had been confusing but ultimately not a problem so long as it was all just a fantasy but Tara’s revelation of her sexuality had allowed Willow to briefly imagine that the fantasy could become reality and to have that snatched away now was too cruel. Willow wanted to rage and cry at the injustice but some part of her remained focused on how difficult a night this had been for Tara and so somehow she managed to hide her feelings.

“Willow, did I offend you?” Tara was concerned by the uncharacteristic silence of her friend and suddenly she realised that even if Willow was straight she might still be upset to be told that Tara was not attracted to her. There was no correct etiquette in these situations and in effect when you tell someone that they are not your type you run the risk of them interpreting your words as confirmation of their own insecurities about their looks and personality. Tara cursed her own insensitivity, why had she not thought this through.

“No of course not Tara,” Willow forced herself to stay cheerful, “I just got stuck in a thought, you do know I babble to myself sometimes.” Willow fixed a false smile to her face to show Tara she was ok. She was not ok, she was confused and hurt and could not begin to understand everything she was feeling but she needed to be alone to work through all of that and so for now she concentrated on giving Tara whatever she needed.

………………………………………………………..

Heading home to Stevenson House Willow’s mind was in a turmoil, events had moved much too fast for her tonight and she felt as thought the bottom might be falling out of her world for the second time in just a few months. Tara had been puzzled by Willow’s insistence on walking her home but had not objected too strenuously, it was not negotiable as far as Willow was concerned but she was not yet ready to make with the Vampires are real explanation. For the first time things had felt slightly uncomfortable between them, both obviously pre-occupied with the events of the evening they had walked in near silence and had parted fairly swiftly outside Tara’s room. To be certain there was no misunderstanding Willow had already arranged to see Tara again tomorrow night but she had no idea how things would work out now that she knew her feelings ran far deeper for Tara than the blonde girl was willing to accept.

Willow pushed open the door to her dorm room and felt her spirits slump even lower as she realised Buffy was still not back. There was no question of discussing what was really upsetting her with the Slayer but she could definitely use the comfort of a chat with her roommate right now, just to give her overactive mind some breathing space from the subject of cute blonde Wiccans she could never have. She had tried to convince herself that it didn’t matter, maybe she didn’t want a relationship with a girl anyway and after all she barely knew Tara, why should she be so upset? Telling herself these things was no use though, thoughts of Tara had opened a door that she could probably never close and the issue of her sexuality was one she needed to face regardless of whether Tara wanted her. The fact that she barely knew Tara was no comfort either, she did not need to know her that well to realise that she had met somebody that she could truly love, if it wasn’t love at first sight then it was pretty damn close, certainly love was involved somewhere and so it hurt, hurt more than she could have imagined.

Preparing for bed Willow found herself feeling a sense of deja-vu, it seemed that every night recently had ended with her fretting over her feelings for Tara as she brushed and flossed. There was no way that she wanted to lose her friendship with Tara, friends was better than nothing and the thought of not speaking to Tara again was unbearable. If they could not be together then she had to move past this, the real problem of course was that she was upset and probably needed time to sort out her feelings and yet she could not allow herself the luxury. Tara had come out to her this evening and if she gave any indication that she was backing off or keeping her distance the blonde would automatically assume it was because Willow could not deal with her sexuality. Willow knew that now more than ever she needed to be a friend for Tara and stick with her, she had been brave to be so open about her sexuality and she deserved unconditional support. Tough as it would be she knew that her own feelings would need to be ignored for now so that she could be the kind of friend Tara needed and deserved.

………………………………………………….

Willow could hear the ringing penetrating the fog of dreams that surrounded her along with a rumbling sound that reminded her of a road drill. Peeping open her eyes she became aware that the telephone was ringing and the rumbling was emanating from the neighbouring bed where the late returning Slayer was snoring contentedly. Blearily rubbing sleep from her eyes with one hand, she picked up the receiver with the other and was greeted by the straight down to business tone of her mother, a sound that could wake her up fully in an instant.

“Willow dear, I am just calling to be sure you are ready, your father is leaving in a moment to pick you up and he can’t afford to wait around for you.”

Her father was coming? Picking her up for what? Willow frantically tried to pull herself together as the words triggered a panic reaction in her sleep-dulled mind. Oh no, she barely stifled a groan, her mother had told her a couple of weeks ago that her aunt and uncle were coming in for the weekend and she wanted her home to play the dutiful daughter. Willow had agreed, not that she had any choice, but the events of the last couple of weeks had driven it from her mind.

“Of course Mom,” she heard herself lie, “packed and ready. So how soon will Dad be picking me up?”

“Thirty minutes dear. Well I must go, there is so much to do, you can give me a hand when you get here.”

Willow flew from the bed and raced for the bathroom in a frantic attempt to be ready in time, her parents had this effect on her, no matter how infrequently she saw them or how little interest they showed in her day to day life, when they said jump she asked how high. The thought of being chastised by her Mother filled her with terror, in a sweet reasonable voice her Mom could explain why holding up her Father by just 5 minutes made her the worst daughter in the world. However rebellious she became she knew this would never change, like most children starved of affection she was unable to even contemplate defying her parents as she subconsciously strove to be the perfect daughter just to win the slightest sign of their approval.

Returning to the dorm she hastily began to dress as she tried to work out what she would need to take with her, was she just staying tonight or did her Mother want her to stay over on Sunday as well? She still kept a lot of things in her old room so she could probably get away with packing lightly, just a book or two along with her laptop and wash bag. Willow found it amusing that Buffy could sleep blissfully on no matter how much noise she made, the Slayer was not easy to disturb when she was in sleep mode. Spotting the spell book Tara had loaned her she picked it up and stuffed it into the bag along with her favourite stuffed animal and some course notes that she wanted to re-write when she had the chance, she was bound to have plenty of time for coursework with her family for company. She would certainly take some time to read the book as she was increasingly eager to try casting with Tara again and she had promised to choose something from that book.

Oh no, Willow’s train of thought was suddenly derailed, she was supposed to be seeing Tara later today and now she would have to cancel. Cancelling plans with Tara would be traumatic enough in the best of circumstances but after everything they had discussed last night the timing could not have been worse. Willow had a genuine excuse but Tara would be certain to think that she was avoiding her, this was so the last thing that Willow had wanted or needed right now. There was no question of not going home for the weekend; she would rather storm a Vamp nest alone armed with a splinter than defy her parents. She was going to have to let Tara down but she was going to have to make sure that she impressed upon the other girl just how sorry she was and how unavoidable this had been, she could not let Tara get the wrong idea.

One thing was settled; she was not going to stay over on Sunday night as well even if she didn’t get back to the Campus until well after dark. Losing her weekend and her plans with Tara was bad enough but it was also Buffy’s party on Monday evening so if she didn’t manage to get back on Sunday she would have no chance to see her until Tuesday and that was just too far away. With only a few minutes to go until her Father arrived Willow abandoned her haphazard attempts at packing and reached for the telephone, dreading the conversation she was about to have and the inevitable upset she would cause to her friend.

………………………………………………………..

Hanging up the phone Tara decided that sitting around her room held no appeal and so she grabbed her jacket and set off for a walk around the Campus. Walking always aided her thought processes and she needed to think right now as she was just a little too worked up about the events of the last twenty-four hours. She had woken in an odd mood that morning, the highs and lows of yesterday had left her emotionally drained and she had felt flat and listless as she nibbled her morning bagel and tried to make a start on the assignment she had neglected since her aborted trip to the library on the day of her first coffee date with Willow. Now that she was free for the rest of the weekend she could afford to let the assignment wait a little longer and yet if she did not clear her mind then all the time in the world was not going to allow her to focus on the work she needed to do.

Willow’s call had almost been expected although she was somewhat surprised to find that she was not as upset as she had thought she would be. There was no doubting the sincerity in Willow’s voice as she had guiltily explained how she had forgotten her earlier promise to go home for the weekend and she had been equally sincere when promising to make it up to her when she got back to the Campus, hopefully Sunday night. On reflection Tara concluded that she was slightly relieved that Willow was busy, they had seen each other every day for the past three days and their relationship was still new. Willow might be able to process everything that was happening in a flash with that super size brain of hers but Tara was glad of a little breathing space to sort through the jumble in her mind that had built up since that innocent coffee date.

When Willow had walked her back to her dorm last night there had appeared to be a distance between them that had upset her greatly and she had been once again on the verge of tears as soon as she had closed her door. To begin with she had blamed herself completely for handling things so badly and freaking Willow out but she had gradually come to the realisation that she was being a little stupid. On the one hand she did not truly believe Willow was freaked out and so she was clearly reading too much significance into the little things and on the other hand, if Willow was freaked out then just maybe Willow was not worth getting so upset over. Tara had been falling hard for Willow but for all of her insecurities she had some self-respect and if Willow could not deal with who she was then she was better off alone. She had finally concluded though that the silence had been due to nothing more than the confusion and tiredness that they had both felt after a long and very emotional day and her fretting over Willow’s reaction was just a sign of her own insecurity.

Tara enjoyed the feel of the sunshine warming her skin as she strolled through the UC Sunnydale grounds, it was a good day and she needed to appreciate it for what it was rather than constantly allowing the state of her friendship with Willow to dictate her moods. The act of coming out seemed to have liberated her a little, the anxieties she had felt had been based around being discovered in her secret and now that was no longer a possibility she felt confident that what would be would be. She was a pretty good judge of people and Willow seemed to have genuinely and instantly accepted her sexuality and so any more worrying was simply negative energy, she had no reason to think Willow would not want her as a friend anymore unless she invented one herself.

Stopping off at her beloved tree she reflected that actually there was one small problem and she did not know exactly how to rectify it. The decision to conceal her attraction to Willow had seemed logical, it was futile to think that they could be anything more than friends and so it was better to make it clear that that was all she wanted. If she was honest though she had handled that badly, Willow hadn’t said anything but she was still certain that she had hurt the other girls feelings with her poorly chosen words. If she had been in Willow’s position she would probably not have enjoyed someone telling her they were not attracted to her even if it was someone she did not want a relationship with. Sitting down on the grass and pulling out her ever-present sketchbook she concluded that the next time she saw Willow she would make things right.

………………………………………………………..

Willow kissed her Father on the cheek and with a hasty goodbye scrambled out of the car and set off for her dorm at top speed. The weekend had been sensationally awful and she was desperate to get back to her own life after being trapped in a nightmare of family obligations and awkward conversations. Her Mother had cut her apart with a thousand tiny observations, none of them overly critical but the combined effect had reduced her to a shadow of her normal self. The only thing that had sustained her through the constant assault on her confidence and self-respect had been the thought of getting back to the Campus and seeing Tara again. Visions of Tara had been her constant companion as she tried to blank out the hideous reality of her surroundings and despite her Mother’s protests she had insisted on leaving as soon as her Aunt and Uncle had set off for home.

Reaching her dorm Willow was unsurprised to find it empty, it was close to 10pm and that made it prime patrolling time for Buffy, either that or it was date time but either way it did not matter as she was not in the mood to be distracted from her goal even by the chance to chat with her best friend. Willow dumped her bag and headed for her closet, in deference to the traditional tendencies of her parents she had dressed in the type of dowdy clothes she had worn before the Slayer had come into her life and now she could not wait to shed her old skin and be reborn as new Willow. Hastily she slipped out of the plain dress and tugged on her jeans and a green shirt that matched her eyes before turning to the mirror to check her hair and appearance. Satisfied with what she saw she turned towards the telephone but stopped short of picking up the receiver as the heady effect of escaping her weekend prison made her more daring. Turning on her heel, she snatched up her purse and headed back out of her room with a mission to complete.

Fifteen minutes later Willow was knocking on Tara’s door as she juggled with two large Mochas, her purse and an enormous cookie. Spontaneity was all well and good she thought but what if Tara was not home or worse still what if she was and she was asleep? Her fears were quickly allayed as the door opened and the blonde girl looked shyly out at her late night visitor.

“Hey Tara, I made it back and I thought maybe Mochas would be fun and we could hang out in your room, if it’s ok with you? I am all with the impulsiveness, it’s not too late is it?”

“Hi W-Willow, no not too late, I was just reading and wondering if you were going to call.” Tara ushered Willow into the room and Willow was relieved to notice how genuinely pleased Tara seemed to see her as she thrust one of the Mochas into her friends hand.

“I was going to call but then I thought why waste the time, I said I would come if I could so I just got myself moving and here I am. What were you reading?”

“Um, art history,” Tara suppressed a smile at the sudden change in direction of the conversation that was pure Willow, “do you l-like art?”

“Kind of, I mean I know what I like but I have no idea if it’s good art or not, those displays of piles of bricks and animal carcasses and stuff are like yuck but I like good paintings and sculptures. You don’t like the brick art and dissected cows do you? Did I just put my foot in it again?”

Tara could not stifle her laugh at Willow’s happy babble, how could she have thought things had become awkward between them, Willow was the same open enthusiastic person she had been since they first met. “No c-cows, it’s history of art, renaissance painters like Boticelli, do you w-want to look?”

“Ok sure,” Willow joined Tara on the bed where the large book was spread open on the covers, “oh I almost forgot, the sorry cookie.”

“Sorry c-cookie?”

“Yes,” Willow thrust the paper bag into Tara’s remaining free hand, “I got you a cookie to say sorry for blowing you out yesterday and because you were so great about it and didn’t get mad and because cookies always make people happy.”

“Wow Willow, this is huge, I d-don’t think I can eat all of that.”

“Well,” Willow beamed at Tara’s happy expression, “one of the great things about the sorry cookie is that it’s so big you have to share and in sharing I know that you have forgiven me so it’s kind of a magic cookie and by the way did I tell you I like chocolate.”

Tara could not control her laughter any longer, Willow was certainly unique and stupid though it was she realised that sharing Mochas and a giant cookie with her friend could be the happiest moment of her life.

………………………………………………………..

Willow looked at her watch and sat up with a start, it was almost 1am and yet she felt she had only just got here. Following the ritual cookie eating and Mocha drinking they had lain on Tara’s bed, side-by-side, and just chatted about whatever thoughts crossed their minds. To be truthful she had done most of the talking with her brain in full babble mode but Tara had certainly been paying attention and there had been a lot of laughter and closeness. Willow felt a similar closeness with Xander and Buffy but that had taken time, she had never felt so relaxed and comfortable with someone as quickly as she had with Tara.

“Hey Tara, it’s getting late,” Willow sat up a little straighter, “I could hang out all night like this but I have classes in the morning and I guess you do too.”

“Ok,” Tara agreed, “I am getting s-sleepy.” Tara stifled a yawn and wondered how the time had flown by so quickly, she had one more thing she wanted to do before Willow left.

“I wish I was free tomorrow but I have that thing for my roommate in the evening. Can I come over on Tuesday?”

“Of course you can, you can c-come over whenever you want to.”

“Cool, I was thinking that we might try a spell, I found a few I like in your book so if you don’t mind?”

“I don’t,” Tara smiled, “I was wondering when you would ask.”

“Great,” Willow stood up and stretched, “I will pick something out and get the ingredients together. Right now it’s time for bed though.”

“Sure Willow, I need to tell you something b-before you go though.”

“What’s that?” Willow’s curiosity was piqued but Tara seemed relaxed so she guessed it was nothing bad.

“Well, I was feeling b-bad about something I said the other night, it kind of came out wrong.”

“I don’t remember anything bad.”

“It was just the whole not my t-type thing,” Tara explained, “I keep replaying it in my head and maybe it’s just me but I think it was sort of unkind.”

“I told you I wasn’t offended,” Willow gave Tara a re-assuring smile, “we all like different things, if we were all the same how would that be, boring much.”

“I know but it’s just that I felt like you might think I m-meant you were unattractive and I don’t,” Tara blushed as she continued, “you are the sweetest person and I think you are really p-pretty.”

Willow found herself matching Tara’s blush at the unexpected compliment. “I don’t know what to say, I mean thanks, you are too.”

“I am too what?”

“Pretty.” More like super hot but pretty was a safe word Willow figured.

Tara was beet red by now and not sure how to continue. “So Tuesday n-night then?”

“Yep Tuesday, magic and maybe sugary snacks too.” Willow turned towards the door and then swung back to Tara and gave the blonde a quick hug, “g’night Tara, sleep tight.”

“N-night Willow.” Tara watched as her friend walked out of the door and then sat back down on the bed in a happy daze. Tonight had been the best yet, they were growing closer and closer and the ease with which they enjoyed each others company was amazing, Tuesday could not come fast enough. Lying back on the bed Tara felt her smile growing wider, Willow had called her pretty and she had to admit it had felt good.

Outside in the hallway Willow was almost motionless just a few feet away from Tara’s door. The whole night had been perfect, being with Tara in her room felt so right and she felt the kind of closeness usually only possible with old friends, not someone you had only just met. The friends only thing was working right up until the end and she had almost convinced herself that her crush was in the past but then Tara had told her she was pretty and the full force of her attraction and longing had come roaring back. Shaking herself out of her stupor Willow set off for her dorm, she had to admit she was crazy about Tara but she had no idea what to do about it.

_________________
TARA: Breakfast will make all things better.
WILLOW: Ooh, pancakes could go in bellies.

Bargaining


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:40 pm 
Offline
1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:20 am
Posts: 11
That was an excellent read, and you also helped me keep my mind off of my sickly cold!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:52 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:50 pm
Posts: 225
Location: québec, canada
Updatey goodness!!!!! Woohoo! I like how Will handled Tara's coming out, and how right they are together... You can't take Willow and Tara apart, no way!

Just, how stupid is this parent thing huh? Poor Willow, having to go instead of spending some time with Tara :(

You write this so well :) Keep it on! :bow

_________________
The clash of swords will bring them against each other, but one sword will bring them together:
Askeidevor


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:40 pm 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 522
Location: Maine
RaspberryHats, great story. I really love s4 fics, when everything is just starting, and it's all new. This is really good. Can't wait for more.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:22 pm 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:09 am
Posts: 471
Location: Shoalhaven,NSW, Australia
RasberryHats
Hi! Just wanted to let you know I'm enjoying this story.

BTL is proving to be an interesting exploration of the progress of W & T's early relationship. You've kept the characters true to canon, yet let us see their thoughts and emotions, and keep a close watch on their growing attraction. I like fics that build behind the scenes of W & T's roles: there was never enough of them in the show, and I'm a hopeless romantic.

I loved the portrayal of Willow in the show at this time (S4) - she was the butterfly emerged from the chrysalis - and I hated the eventual drabbing down they did to her. Hated it because it was symptomatic of her outlook on life (so, obviously as a device in the show it was very successful). You pick up on that in this fic thru W's dressing to suit her parents for the weekend at home - showing her inability to be herself with them. It's just a little part of your fic, but I found it very telling in showing how fragile W's new self-confidence is.

As I've said, your characters are true to canon, and this includes Buffy & Xander in their brief appearances. You've added dimension to W & T - esp. Tara: I like the way you're showing her shyness and how her attraction to W is building pressure in her to speak, to act, that she has to fight to resist a compulsion that surprises her with its strength. And yet, you show her fears and how hard it still is for her to open up. The tip of the iceberg of the confidence that Tara shows in later episodes.

Anyway, thanks, and I'm looking forward to more.
Anne

_________________
Spells for Two

Every path has its puddle. Old English Saying... I think I just stepped in mine...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:48 pm 
Offline
19. Yummy Face

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:40 pm
Posts: 2934
Location: Raleigh, NC
I know what Willow can do about it:

Tell Tara how she feels!

_________________
Tara: Willow, I got so lost.
Willow: I found you. I will always find you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:26 am 
Offline
30. Sweaty and Kinda Gay
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:17 am
Posts: 5210
Location: Oregon
Oh wow, I'm really lovin' this. Your grasp of Willow/Tara's characters is unequalled and your flow and pacing is perfect. So I gotta say, I'm definitely on board the "Between The Lines" train and will be looking forward to the next update.

BTW...I just have to say....you are kinda evil for leaving it where you did, but I can forgive you as long as you grace us with an update in the not-too-distant future. :-D

xoxo
Emms

_________________
G Wing


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:52 am 
Offline
15. Apple Sauce & Tuna
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:03 am
Posts: 2188
Location: Nottingham, England
Aww, that was adorable. Wonderful. :x 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]

Credit for icon: lj user crazedxinsanity


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:30 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:58 pm
Posts: 142
Location: Brazil
Oh oh! An update! :bounce
Okay, wonderful as always. :applause
But, this is so frustrating! :p I mean, why don’t they just tell each other about their feelings? And poor Willow. I just hope they figure things out soon. And soon as in…the next update, soon? :-D
Hehe, but seriously. I do love this, and can’t wait for more!

K.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:00 am 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
Disclaimer Insert witty comment about how this is just for fun and Mutant Enemy own all the relevant copyrights.

Background Season 4 and after keeping you wait through 5 chapters here is the floating rose I promised.

Feedback Please keep it coming, I promise I will respond if you have any specific questions.


Between The Lines


Chapter Six – The Petals Are Off


Tara hummed to herself as she scribbled notes in her jotter, the vast pile of textbooks spread out on the library table contained plenty of the information needed for her project and she was noting down the sections she needed to refer back to. Working in the library was still fun for Tara, her family home had very few books and she could lose herself in all of the rare volumes here, to be sure she did not share Willow’s near obsession with ink and paper but she still appreciated what UC Sunnydale had to offer. For all of her focus on the books and her notes she still had to concentrate on the task at hand as every so often her thoughts would drift and yet another doodle of Willow would appear in the margin, just five minutes ago she had caught herself subconsciously sketching Willow and the sorry cookie. Willow thoughts were difficult to hold at bay but she had classes all day tomorrow and then they were meeting up to cast something together so today she needed to get on with some work so she could slack off without feeling guilty.

“Hey Tara, can I bother you for a minute?”

Startled Tara looked up to see Jenny from her Art class standing in front of her, she had been so wrapped up in her thoughts she hadn’t even noticed anyone approaching. Very few of her classmates had made the effort to get to know Tara but Jenny was a friendly approachable girl who sensing Tara’s shyness had introduced herself in the early part of the year and was the closest thing Tara had to a friend before she had met Willow. Tara had not had the confidence to really get to know the other girl but they had sat together in classes a few times and had read swapped assignments a couple of times to get a second opinion before handing work in.

“Hi Jenny, I d-didn’t see you come in, do you need help with something?”

“Just a little thing,” the other girl said as she dropped her book bag onto the table, “I came in to check out some books and when I looked in my bag I couldn’t find the recommended reading list Professor Yanez gave us last Tuesday, I was wondering if you had a copy with you?”

“Sure, let me check,” Tara reached for a folder half buried under her personal book mountain, “you can keep it until next class, I have all the b-books I need right here.”

“I can see that,” Jenny laughed, “so what got you in such a good mood this morning? You do know it’s compulsory to be miserable on Monday unless it’s the holidays.”

“What makes you think I am in a g-good mood?” Tara asked curiously.

“Humming while you work, practically a capital crime in itself but on a Monday doubly so unless you got lucky last night or know you are going to get lucky tonight.” Jenny grinned conspiratorially, “So which is it?”

“N-none of the above,” Tara blushed furiously, “it just helps me concentrate when I am working is all.”

“Have it your way,” Jenny took the list from Tara’s outstretched hand, “but when I get a hot date you don’t get to hear any details either. I am just going to take this to the copier, be back in five.”

Tara watched her almost friend walk away and wondered at how easily the other girl had read her mood, indeed had almost been accurate in guessing the reason for it. Ok maybe she was easier to read than she had thought, if that was the case she might have to be a little more careful around Willow. Being in a good mood had it’s advantages though, despite blushing she had enjoyed the light banter with Jenny about what she might have been up too to get so happy, clearly good moods were infectious and in some way made her more approachable to others. Whether being so obvious about her mood was a good thing or not was a moot point anyway, she could not help how she felt even if it was a Monday. She understood that for most people the end of the weekend was a time for mourning but having been raised on a farm she had no real concept of what a weekend break was, the animals needed feeding whatever day of the week it was.

Glancing back down to her jotter she realised she had again begun tracing the outline of Willow’s face amongst her notes, thinking about her good mood had encouraged her subconscious to draw the reason for it. She had been touched last night at how Willow had made the effort to come and see her even after being stuck at home all weekend, it was flattering as she knew Willow had plenty of friends and yet had singled her out for special attention. That Willow had been so obviously apologetic about having to cancel their plans had been sweet too, if she had any lingering doubts about their friendship then they were all gone now. Thinking about it she realised that Willow had been going out of her way to be nice to her from the moment that they met, it was an unusual feeling but she guessed the warm glow that surrounded her was how it felt to know that someone cared. Looking back down at her jotter she noticed that she had added a Tara sketch and encircled the two girls within a heart, maybe it was ok to dream.

“Thanks, you are a lifesaver,” Jenny returned brandishing the list and gave Tara an amused look, “from the width of that smile you are definitely holding out on me, sure you don’t want to share?”

“My lips are sealed,” Tara shook her head gently but her smile grew even wider.

………………………………………………………………..

So this was the best Buffy birthday ever thought Willow as she scanned the small crowd in the rec room, it was hardly a wild party but then that’s what happened when you let Xander and Giles help with the arrangements and the guest list. Buffy seemed happy enough though, she was mostly sticking to Riley but she was smiling and Willow decided that she might not be alongside the vampires on the Slayers to do list despite the veiled threat earlier in the evening when she had interrupted the happy couple on the verge of coupling. To be fair it was not hard to top Buffy’s last few birthday parties, her 16th had occurred amidst the collapse of her parents marriage, her 17th had seen her boyfriend lose his soul and attempt to kill all her friends and on her 18th she had been stripped of her powers and stuck in a house with a psychopathic vampire. When you put it like that maybe cake, fruit punch and conversation with a middle aged former librarian was as good as it got for the Slayer in the birthday party stakes. Considering all of the traumas Buffy had faced Willow thought that she did not have too much to complain about personally but still she hoped that Xander had picked up her hint about booking the Bronze for her own birthday.

“Having fun Giles?” she asked as Buffy’s Watcher headed over to join her balancing a paper plate of birthday cake and a plastic cup of punch.

“Oh yes, very nice do, Buffy seems very pleased I must say.”

“Well she probably is happy that the apocalypse decided to wait until tomorrow and break that Buffy birthday tradition.”

“Oh yes quite,” Giles smiled at the Scooby in-joke, “I am glad you mentioned apocalypse though, reminded me I needed to talk to you about something.”

“I take it back, no apocalypse please Giles,” Willow gave what she hoped was her most appealing smile in an attempt to avoid what she knew was a conversation she would regret.

“Well not quite an apocalypse but I do need your help with something, I know you are busy with your studies but I do hope I can count on you.”

“If you put it like that how can I refuse, so if you are asking me I guess it’s either a research thing or a magic thing?”

“Not research I am afraid, this is mystical and potentially quite nasty and I think everyone is going to have a part to play. I have checked the prophecies and all of the texts I have at my disposal and I am certain something very unpleasant is due to rise.”

“Don’t you have any prophecies where something cute and cuddly is going to rise and maybe give out kisses and candy?” Willow could not resist teasing the slightly stuffy older man.

“Willow,” Giles began with a pained expression, “I expect that kind of comment from Xander but I had thought you took Buffy’s sacred duty a little more seriously.”

“Lighten up Giles, this is meant to be a party, when the hell beastie or whatever shows up you can count on me but I am not thinking of slaying anything more dangerous than cake tonight.”

“Well it’s not as if I get to see you that often these days that I can pass up the opportunity to speak to you now,” he continued in a slightly aggrieved tone.

“Sorry Giles, busy studying, you know you are still my favourite librarian,” Willow interrupted quickly, the old gang had drifted apart a bit of late but she realised guiltily that Giles was probably more isolated than any of them, “I promise to check in more frequently ok, first year of college has just been crazy.”

“Well I am glad to hear it,” Giles sounded at least slightly mollified, “that still doesn’t excuse you from having this conversation tonight though. I appreciate the hypnotic effect birthday cake has on the young but some things are more important than eating your bodyweight in sugar.” Willow thought that last was a bit rich considering the generous helping of cake on the plate he was animatedly waving around as he warmed to his topic. “The signs all confirm that the rising will take place tomorrow night and we must be there to stop it and you will need to be prepared.”

“Tomorrow,” Willow felt her heart sink, “I can’t I have plans.”

“I am sorry Willow but you will just have to re-arrange those plans, if we don’t meet this particular evil people will die, I know you would not want that to happen.”

“But, but,” Willow scrambled for any excuse to avoid the agony of letting Tara down again, “Buffy,” she exclaimed and pointed all at the same time, “Slayer.”

“Buffy can fight the demon Willow but he has magical powers, I am sorry but I need you to prepare a binding spell to prevent him casting so that Buffy can meet him on equal terms.”

Willow wanted to scream in frustration and anguish, tomorrow was supposed to be a special night in her developing relationship with Tara but there was no way she could allow Buffy to face danger without her when her help was needed. “Ok Giles,” she muttered, “but a little more notice next time please, some of us do have a social life you know.” She felt a little guilty about that last barb but why couldn’t he have worked this out a few weeks ago so she would have known she would be needed before making plans with Tara.

“I resent that remark,” Giles scowled, “just because I don’t like to hang about in shopping centres it doesn’t mean I don’t have a social life.”

“The phrase is hang out Giles and in America it’s called the mall not the shopping centre,” Willow smiled apologetically, “Ok so I am a little grouchy but tomorrow was something I was looking forward to, I forgive you if you promise to bring snacks.”

“Marvellous,” Giles beamed, “Ok we can all meet up at my apartment after you and Buffy finish your classes and I will get Xander to pick up some donuts.”

“Ah the important delivery boy role,” Willow smiled, “I am sure he will be pleased to be given such an important task.”

“Quite, well I suppose I had better let Buffy know if I can only prise her off that young man long enough for a private conversation.”

“Oh no Giles,” Willow protested, “you might have rained misery down on me but have a heart, it’s her birthday, you can tell her in the morning.”

“I don’t know Willow, she needs to be prepared.”

“Oh sure and what could be better than saying happy birthday, oh and by the way you are going to be up to your armpits in blood and guts tomorrow.” Willow gave Giles a steely glare.

“I take your point, I don’t think she would actually hit me but she might not take it very well at this moment.”

“Wise man, why don’t you take the safer option and let Xander know how many jelly and how many chocolate sprinkles to get.”

“Do I have to?” Giles protested with a pained expression, “couldn’t you mention it to him?”

“You are plan guy Giles, giving out instructions is your job, what’s so difficult about telling Xander anyway?”

“Oh I don’t mind telling Xander, it’s just if I talk to Xander I might have to talk to her as well.”

“By her you mean Anya?” Willow asked although she knew the answer.

“I am sure she is a lovely ex-demon in her own special way, at least I hope so for Xander’s sake, but she has a certain err way about her that sets my teeth on edge.”

“Suck it up Giles,” Willow laughed although the laugh did not meet her eyes, “you face demons and vampires all the times, I am sure you can handle a little of Anya’s refreshing honesty. Now go, I need a little alone time.” Willow’s voice almost cracked at the last as she felt a swell of misery building up inside at the thought of how Tara might react to being let down again. Giles took the hint and began to retreat in the general direction of Xander and Anya although his body language indicated how reluctant he was to approach the ex-vengeance demon.

………………………………………………………………….

Willow hurried through the corridors of Tara’s dorm building armed with bagels and coffee, if she recalled what Tara had told her correctly she would just have time for a quick chat before her classes began. The thought of telling Tara that she again had to cancel plans with her over the phone had struck Willow as wrong and so she had set her alarm early to give her time for a face to face conversation before the day began. The coffee and bagels were polite when intruding at breakfast time and she reasoned that she found it very hard to be angry with anyone who brought her food so it would probably work with Tara too. She had stayed up late last night thinking through what she had wanted to do tonight and she had an idea that things might be saved but she had to prepare for the worst, she could not be certain and if she had to let Tara down she wanted to let her down gently.

“Willow, hi I w-wasn’t expecting you,” Tara’s surprise showed as she opened the door to be met by a slightly sheepish looking Willow, “come in, I was just getting ready for class.”

“Hey Tara,” Willow stepped into the room and brandished the coffee and bagels in front of her friend, “I brought you breakfast, that gets me extra credit right?” Willow tried her best and sweetest smile as she hoped that the charm offensive would make up for the bad news she had to deliver.

“How come I get b-breakfast, not that I don’t appreciate it but did you forget I had an early class today?”

“No, no forgetting, I wanted to surprise you and I was kind of hoping that you would be so pleased you would forgive me for what I have to tell you.”

Tara didn’t like the sound of that but the expression on Willow’s face was more like that of a guilty child caught doing something naughty than that of someone with truly bad news so she didn’t panic. Not wanting to make Willow tense she decided to try to keep the mood light, “I guess I should try the b-bagel and see how good is it before I decide if you can be forgiven,” she picked up her bagel as she continued, “what am I meant to forgive you for anyway?”

“Well um, about tonight,” Willow’s smile grew more guilty, “I might not be able to make it, I really want to but something has come up.” With the truth out there the babble began in earnest, “I mean I was so looking forward to it and I hope you were too it’s just I have this friend and well, I have an obligation and he didn’t tell me until last night and I know we had made plans already but this is like a now or never deal for him and I made a promise and so I have to go but it’s not fair on you, I feel so bad about this and after what happened before, please don’t be mad.”

“Willow breathe,” Tara placed a hand on Willow’s arm to stem the tide of words, “I am not mad at you, you made a p-promise so you have to keep it. We can still do it another time.” Tara was disappointed but she knew that Willow was genuinely upset at cancelling their plans.

“You don’t mind?”

“No, well not too much,” Tara corrected herself, “I was looking forward to c-casting with you again but I understand if you have obligations, it’s not as if we can only do this tonight.”

“You are so cool,” Willow impulsively hugged the blonde girl, almost squashing her bagel in the process, “I hoped you would understand and we might still be able to do this if you don’t mind a late night.”

“We could?”

“This thing I have to do, I might be through with it before it gets too late and I could still come over then if you are still awake.”

“I can wait, how late do you think it would be?” Tara began packing books into her bag as they talked, she would need to leave soon or be late for class.

“Well I am not sure,” Willow frowned, “I can call first, lets say if I can come I will call before 10, if I haven’t called by then I won’t have been able to get away.”

“Ok, I can wait, I can p-prepare things so if you come over we don’t have to waste time setting up.” Tara smiled happily at how this was turning out, she might still get to see Willow tonight and she had got to see her this morning as well, despite Willow’s fears she was far from upset.

“Cool, I can pick up what I need and set it out so I just need to swing by the dorm and collect it on my way.” Willow felt her spirits soar, she had been dreading this but now everything seemed like it was going to be ok, she should have realised Tara would be understanding. She could not get too carried away though, if this big bad was as awful as Giles had made out then it was very possible she would not get back in time. “If I can’t call you won’t be mad though?”

“I promise, I won’t get mad if you don’t c-call,” Tara’s lips quirked into a smile, “I might get mad if you don’t do something for me now though.”

Oh no, Tara might get mad at her, “what’s that Tara?”

“Drink your coffee, it’s getting c-cold.”

…………………………………………………………………………..

Willow hurried through Sunnydale on her way to the Magic shop; she had come straight from class to pick up what she would need for tonight, both for the demon and for Tara. Giles was not expecting her for another hour so she had time to browse a little, she was still undecided on which of the spells she had book marked she wanted to try tonight. She knew what she needed for the binding spell and she was hoping that the fight would be a quick one, Tara might not mind if they had to re-schedule but she sure did.

“Willow, slow down.”

Turning at the sound of her name she saw Xander hurrying to catch up with her and flashed him a quick smile, a smile that grew wider as she realised Anya was nowhere to be seen. “Hey Xander, you hunting donuts already?”

“Very funny Will, actually I was looking for Buffy, have you seen her?”

“Not since this morning, is she missing?”

“Giles can’t find her,” Xander fell into step alongside Willow breathing hard from running to catch her, “he was up at the Campus today and went to round her up for tonight but he called to say she wasn’t there and would I check to see if she was around here someplace.”

“She is probably out with Riley,” Willow frowned, “if Giles can’t find her what are we going to do about this demon guy?”

“The G-man said we could handle it,” Xander grinned, “I tried to point out that he doesn’t have Slayer strength but he got all huffy and said something about killing demons when we were still in diapers.”

Willow chuckled at the Giles imitation, but felt her concern grow that tonight was not going to go well. Xander and Giles had a tendency to think that they could handle the rough stuff but it was a miracle neither had been seriously hurt so far, if Buffy was not around it might be better to wait until she could be found. Giles would never hear of it though, he had been insistent that this had to be done tonight and now it was all going to go wrong, Willow let out a heavy sigh of frustration.

“So where are you headed?” Xander broke into Willow’s train of thought.

“Magic shop, need to get the ingredients for tonight.”

“Wiccan girl to the rescue huh, who needs Buffy anyway.” Xander had confidence in her anyway but right now that was small comfort. “So why the sigh? You were pretty upbeat the other day but you seemed pretty down last night at the Buffy bash and you are not exactly spreading the sunshine right now.”

“Just worried about what we do if Buffy doesn’t show, I don’t want you or Giles playing hero and getting hurt.”

“Ok I can buy that for your current mood but that doesn’t explain the lack of birthday cheer last night, come on spill, the last time I saw you with a look like that was when I stole your Barbie.”

Xander could surprise you at times Willow realised, right now he was acting like he was just teasing but that was just a cover, he was more perceptive than he seemed and he obviously had seen what her other friends had not. “I don’t know what you mean, I was all with the cake and the happy birthdays, you must have imagined it.”

“Will, I told you the other day how good it was to see you happy and last night you were far from happy. I also noticed you came alone.”

“Why would that be a surprise, who exactly did you expect me to bring?”

“I don’t know,” Xander paused, “I may be way off the mark but from the way you were acting the other day I would have sworn you had met someone new, I was hoping you had anyway.”

Willow hesitated, it wasn’t exactly a question but from the expression on his face Xander was waiting for her to either confirm or deny his suspicions, she opened her mouth to tell him just how wrong he was but as she began to speak she realised she couldn’t lie outright. “OK, maybe there might have been a someone but it’s not going to happen, I thought maybe but I don’t think sh..they are interested.” Willow barely managed to catch her slip but thankfully Xander did not seem to have noticed, she would have to remember to use non gender specific terms if she didn’t want to have a whole different type of conversation here.

“So you don’t think this someone is interested? Are you sure or are you just jumping to conclusions?”

“Well they pretty much told me, so no, not jumping to any conclusions here.” That was the truth; Tara had said she was not her type, that was not exactly an ambiguous statement.

“Ah but what if they were playing hard to get? I don’t know how much you like this person but are you just going to give up at the first obstacle?”

“Well it’s a pretty big obstacle if you know they are not interested,” Willow protested, “you can’t make somebody want you.”

“Sure you can, you just have to work out which buttons to push.”

“What do you mean?” Willow was intrigued at the thought but reminding herself that Xander was hardly Casanova she remained sceptical.

“You have to figure out what they want and then decide if that’s something you can offer them,” Xander explained, “if it is then you just have to work out how to get them to notice you, that’s where you need to understand your audience.”

“Is that all,” Willow laughed, “so tell me love Doctor, how does all this work? I mean the theory is sound in a Psych 101 kind of way but I bet it wouldn’t work out in real life.”

“I’ll take that bet.” Taking Willow’s hand Xander pulled her to a stop and turned her to face him. “How did Riley and Buffy get together or for that matter me and Anya?”

“I don’t see the connection.”

“Think Will, Riley knew that it could work with Buffy and so even though she turned him down to begin with he persisted, he could have given up but he realised that she just needed time to get used to the idea.”

Xander was making a strange kind of sense and Willow felt her hopes beginning to rise again, Tara had said she was pretty and unless she was imagining it there was chemistry there. So maybe she was not Tara’s type but maybe she was a taste Tara could learn to like if she gave her enough encouragement. “Ok, so how about you and Anya?”

“She came to my basement and got naked,” the young man grinned, “it was pretty effective.”

“Ok, too much information,” Willow shuddered at the images Xander has just conjured up, “and how does that fit your theory.”

“Simple, Anya figured out that she could be subtle until we both died of old age and I wouldn’t get the message so she came straight to the point. Like I said, know your audience, different situations but Riley and Anya both figured out how to get what they wanted and it paid off.”

“You make it sound so simple, what if this someone really isn’t interested or if I can’t figure out what it is they want?”

“Will, you are way smarter than Riley or Anya,” Xander began walking again as he spoke, “you can figure this out if you think about it, just have faith.”

“And if they really aren’t interested?”

“Not possible,” Xander flashed a smile as they neared the bakery, “now donuts, you want jelly?”

“Yes please, don’t forget its jelly for Giles too.”

“Ok Will, see you at Giles place once you get done at the Magic store.”

“Bye Xander,” Willow kept on walking as Xander waved a farewell, still thinking over what he had said. It was a pretty rare occurrence but Xander might just be right this time, maybe she was giving in too easily and that was stupid because she wanted Tara more than she had wanted anything. Willow knew she had to try, even if she failed the prize was worth it and suddenly decisive she knew just how to begin with the plan to make Tara notice her. Thanking the Goddess for the timely meeting with her old friend she continued on towards the Magic shop certain now of the spell she wanted to try, first though she needed to visit the florist.

……………………………………………………………….

Hurrying out of the graveyard Willow could not decide whether to she wanted to curse Giles or give him a hug. On the one hand he had dragged her away from her Tara plans for what seemed to be a wild goose chase but then on the other it was clear he was a little upset at how out of the loop he was and he had allowed Willow and Xander to leave as soon as he suspected they would not be needed. It was still not too late, even after Giles had arrived late after a fruitless search for the missing Slayer they had still managed to get moving quickly enough that there was still time now for Willow to collect the bag she had left at Giles apartment and get back to the Campus in time to see Tara tonight. Her sense of urgency rose and she almost broke into a run as her eagerness to get to Tara almost overwhelmed her.

“What’s the hurry?” Xander asked breathlessly from just over her shoulder. “I don’t think anything is going to jump us tonight, Giles got his dates wrong.”

“I am not worried about that,” getting jumped was not on her mind, unless of course it was Tara doing the jumping, “I just have things I need to do tonight and I want to get back to the Campus.”

“So why are you headed to Giles place?”

“I left a bag there,” Willow glanced back at the red faced and out of breath young man, “it has some things I need for the spe..assignment.”

“The spe..assignment?” You get stranger by the day Will, I told you College life was dangerous,” Xander teased, “seriously though, I guess you want to cast something and you don’t want me to know about it. I hope you are not messing with something bad again because that whole ‘my will be done’ spell was not fun.”

“No, no bad,” Willow squirmed as she tried to wriggle out of the conversation, she did not want to give Xander any details but she had slipped up and he was probably going to push, “it’s little league stuff, I promise no demons this time.”

“I hope so,” Xander pulled level with her as they descended the steps to Giles apartment door, “so he still keeps that spare key under the flowerpot there?”

“I think so,” Willow replied, stepping over to the flowerpot in question and retrieving the key with a triumphant smile at Xander. Willow was just about to open the door when a thought struck her, “Ok, we know why I am here, so what are you doing here? I won’t believe you came to borrow a book so be honest.” Willow laughed at her own joke as she waited for an answer.

“Ha ha, you keep getting funnier Will,” Xander smiled at the familiar teasing, “I came for something far more important than some stuffy old book.”

“And that would be?” Willow probed as she pushed the door open and stepped into Giles apartment, as she reached for the bag she had left just inside the door Xander bumped past her almost sending her sprawling. Looking up in surprise and outrage she found her answer as the young man reverently picked up the box from Giles living room table.

“Donuts Will,” Xander smiled beatifically, “and there are still two jelly left.”

“Colour me surprised,” Willow laughed, “Ok, see you later,” collecting her bag she headed back towards the door.

“Who are the flowers for?”

“They are um,” Willow blushed to match her hair, “they are an ingredient for the spell
that’s all.”

“Will, tell me it’s not a love spell,” Xander took on what he considered to be his most serious expression, “cos let me tell you they never go well.”

“You don’t need to tell me,” Willow suppressed a shiver at the memory of Xander’s foolish experiment with love spells when they had been in High School, “I was one of the casualties remember?”

“Yes, still really sorry about that,” Xander at least managed to look ashamed.

“So no love spell, just a spell,” Willow eased out of the door anxious to get away, “try to leave something for Giles, he is unemployed you know.”

“Sure Will,” Xander mouthed around a mouthful of donut, “and Will.”

“What?”

“Good luck with the flowers.” Xander winked as the blushing Willow beat a hasty retreat.

………………………………………………

“What the heck was that?”

“I don’t know, but, uh, the petals are off.” Tara could not help laughing.

“Was that something we did, I mean we followed the instructions and everything, I know I did it right.” Willow could not disguise her indignation that the spell had dared to go wrong, Tara thought that was adorable.

“I felt something else,” Tara began to explain, “like someone else w-working magic close by, dark magic judging by the power.”

Willow frowned, “I think I felt it too,” maybe this was the thing Giles had been expecting, “should we do something?” She wanted to call Giles or run and get Buffy but there was no way to do either without giving away secrets to Tara she was not ready to expose or worse still without letting her friends know about Tara’s existence.

“What could we do?” Tara looked slightly puzzled, “It’s only a feeling and I don’t think we can call the p-police or anyone like that.”

Willow agreed but still she worried, “it just feels like whatever it was we shouldn’t ignore it.” Willow felt torn, she had been dealing with the darker side of life for too long to ignore her responsibilities and yet she had planned this night and this spell in particular as part of her campaign to get Tara to look at her in a new way. If she blurted out her Scooby secrets now Tara would probably look at her like she was an escaped lunatic and that was not what she was hoping for at all.

“It d-didn’t feel exactly evil,” Tara searched for the right words, “it was dark magic but it seemed more mischievous than anything.” Tara closed her eyes and focused for a second, “I don’t feel it all now, maybe we j-just imagined it.”

“Maybe,” Willow felt some of her tension ease, “it is pretty late too so it’s not like we could do anything right now.” Tara’s feelings on this could be trusted, she was much more experienced and sensitive to the magic than Willow and if she did not feel it was evil then that was good enough.

“It is late, do you have to g-go?” There was a mute appeal in Tara’s eyes as she asked the question, as if she feared the worst but hoped that Willow would stay.

“I can stay if that’s ok with you, I don’t have any early classes tomorrow and we can still talk even if casting is off the menu for tonight.” Willow tried to sound casual even though she knew that wild horses could not have dragged her out of Tara’s room if the blonde was willing for her to stay.

“Ok,” Tara tried not to sound too eager, “why don’t you get c-comfortable,” she waved towards the bed, “and I will just straighten up.”

Willow scooted up off the floor and perched on the end of Tara’s bed as the other girl tidied up the cushions, candles and other paraphernalia of their casting. Watching Tara was quite a treat, with a ringside seat to observe her in action Willow was in heaven, she could just sit and watch Tara doing anything such was the depth of her fascination for the other girl. Tara always seemed so focused when she was doing something, the tiny crease of concentration that marked her forehead was to die for thought Willow and the economy and grace of her movements, how could the blonde be so unaware of the effect she was having on her?

Twisting her fingers in her hair as she concentrated on the domestic scene in front of her, Willow shifted back into plan mode. The choice of spell had been deliberately romantic and had been designed to give Tara the first tiny sign of how willow felt about her. The spell going awry had somewhat broken the mood and the romantic image of petals floating down around them had not come to pass thanks to the intrusion of that other force. Willow was still determined to make some sort of start to her campaign to win Tara’s interest and a friendly chat on the bed with the soft lighting and music might give her an opportunity to do something. What the something could be was the puzzle, she supposed she could flirt a little but truly she had little experience there, that was Cordelia’s special art.

“Music?” Tara offered, the room tidied to her satisfaction.

“Sure,” something romantic thought Willow though she dared not say it, “nothing too heavy though.”

“Ok, how about Bjork?”

“Perfect,” Willow smiled, the ethereal sounds of the Icelandic singer would set just the right mood for her to put her plan into effect, if she could only figure out what that plan was.

Tara slipped the CD into the stereo and then retrieved a couple of juice boxes from her tiny fridge. “I only have this, its apple,” she offered one box to Willow, “I don’t have any c-coffee things sorry.”

“Juice is fine,” Willow smiled and gestured for Tara to sit down with her on the bed. “So did you think the spell was ok, I mean before it went all kerphlooey?”

“I thought the c-connection was good, we definitely seem in tune,” Willow smiled at Tara’s choice of words, “I am sure we could try something more, that was pretty easy for us, it was an unusual choice.”

“How so?” Willow’s smile slipped a little.

“Well, the spell is meant to be p-performed by two casters to help build harmony but,” Tara let slip a crooked smile, “usually, that particular spell is used where the casters are involved, r-romantically.”

“Oh,” Willow had known that but feigned surprise, “that’s not a problem for you is it?”

“N-no,” Tara shook her head, “I just d-didn’t know if you knew, I mean maybe you didn’t or maybe there is something you want to tell me?”

“Tell you?” Willow was startled, had she been that transparent? If she had, was she happy that her cover was blown or not? Deciding to buy herself time she played dumb, “I am not sure I follow you.”

“I just thought maybe,” Tara paused as if unsure how much to say, “maybe there is someone special and you w-were thinking about them when you chose the spell?”

“Would you mind if I was?” Willow asked quietly, uncertain how much to reveal now that the moment seemed to have arrived.

“No,” again Tara shook her head, “but I was curious, who is he?” Having broached the subject Tara felt the urge to clarify so Willow would not thinks she was being nosy, “You don’t have to say but I don’t want you to think that just b-because I don’t go for boys that you can’t talk to me about them.”

“Oh,” Willow deflated in her disappointment, “you thought? Of course you would.” Willow could not find the words to explain.

“Of c-course I would?” Tara was confused, “I don’t understand, d-did I say something wrong?” Willow’s reaction was confusing, Tara knew that in some way she had upset her but she could not think how.

“I told you about Oz,” Willow began, finding the right words was hard, “and then when I asked you about boys the other day, it’s obvious that you would think that, I am not doing this well.”

What was she not doing well? Tara was bewildered at how confused and distressed Willow was getting over what she had thought was a harmless question. Ok, if there was someone new maybe Willow was not ready to share but surely she could just have said that? Tara was struggling to understand but it seemed as though she was missing something. “I think you l-lost me Willow, do you want to talk about this or change the subject?” Tara was burning with curiosity but rather than risk spoiling the mood any further she offered Willow a way out.

“I can’t explain,” Willow began but then wondered if that was true, she felt that Tara liked her, felt that she could make Tara happy, and so it was just a case of knowing your audience as Xander had put it, if she had read Tara right then maybe she should just be honest. Xander had been right about Riley and Anya, each had figured out the key to the one they desired, it was different in each case and so maybe the key for Willow was to be direct. Tara was clearly shy and very uncertain about herself, it was obvious that she would think Willow was straight after the things they had spoken of and if that was the case she could hint at things forever and Tara would assume she was reading the signs wrong and never act.

“Willow?” Tara was growing concerned, Willow hadn’t spoken for almost a minute and regardless of what she was thinking that seemed to be some sort of record.

“I want to,” Willow looked into Tara’s eyes, “but I am scared.” Tara almost spoke but Willow held up a hand to silence her, “there is someone but I don’t know how they feel. I mean, I think maybe I do but what if I am wrong?”

“So you are scared to act?” Tara clarified.

“Yes,” Willow’s voice was almost a whisper, “if I am wrong and I say too much it could ruin everything.”

“Willow,” Tara held the redheads gaze, “how does it feel now, not t-telling I mean?”

“It’s agony,” Willow admitted, “I can’t stop thinking about it and worrying over what I should do.”

“So can it hurt more to do something about it?”

“No, I don’t think so,” Willow felt the anxiety leaving her, Tara was right, better to just get it over with and at least she would know instead of this agonising indecision that haunted her, “you make it so clear.”

“So do you want to t-tell me?” Tara asked and held her breath as she waited for the reply, if she could not have Willow she at least wanted to be close enough that Willow would be able to share this kind of thing with her.

“It’s complicated,” Willow wondered if Tara had any idea of what she was about to tell her, “I told you, I don’t think they are interested in me.”

“Yes, b-but you also said you thought they were,” Tara smiled ruefully, “I don’t really understand that p-part.”

“It’s like this,” Willow looked deep into Tara’s eyes searching for a flicker of understanding, “when I am with this person it just feels like it is meant to be but when we were talking they said that I was not their type.”

Tara started, it was so odd that someone else had said that same thing to Willow, it was no wonder the other girl had been so upset when she had told her, it must have brought up a painful memory. It was odd though, Willow was looking at her with such intensity as though trying to gauge her reaction, could she mean? No it wasn’t possible.

“She said I was not her type.” Willow repeated the expression but without the ambiguity this time, there could be no doubt.

Tara was reeling, this made no sense and she could not bring herself to believe what she was hearing. Willow was straight, she had decided that already hadn’t she? Even as she thought it Tara saw where she had been so wrong, she had decided just because of what she knew about Willow’s past, she had never actually asked her she had just assumed. The clues were obvious and they were everywhere if she had only thought to look and now she needed to let Willow know she understood but the words would not come.

“It’s you Tara,” Willow’s eyes shone with unshed tears as she continued, “I know what you said but I can’t help it, I tried just being friends but I want more.”

“Willow,” Tara had to speak, Willow was clearly losing control of her emotions as she waited, expecting Tara to break her heart, “I n-never thought, you really want to be with me?”

“More than anything,” Willow’s eyes blazed with intensity as she fought back the tears that threatened to fall and poured her soul into what she believed was a last ditch effort to win Tara, “I know you say I am not your type but I feel there is something between us Tara, I can’t change the way you feel but please look again and tell me what your heart says, I can make you happy but you have to give me the chance.”

“Willow, I don’t need to l-look again, you are everything I could ever want.” Tara could scarcely believe this was not a dream, this was all she had ever wanted and yet she felt s shiver at the thought that her own actions had almost lost her this chance, she had thought she was being so sensible and yet she had hurt Willow and maybe could have forced her away. “I was scared you might not want to be friends if you thought I w-wanted you so I lied, I was s-so stupid.”

Willow was as surprised by Tara’s revelation as Tara must have been by hers, it was all just an act. She should have known, it was impossible to imagine how hard it had been for Tara to come out to her, of course she would want to conceal any feelings she had, Willow had never given her any indication that she would welcome that attention from her. “Tara,” Willow broke through the blondes recriminations, “it doesn’t matter, now we know.”

“We do,” Tara felt a surge of joy and could barely suppress a laugh of delight from mixing with the tears that still fell, “so now what do we do?”

Willow could not help laughing herself, “I don’t know, I wasn’t expecting to get this far tonight, I just wanted to give you a rose.”

“I think,” Tara paused then continued shyly, “I feel like I need to sit down but I already am.” Tara giggled.

“Why don’t we get more comfortable?” Willow offered, “here let me scoot up and then you can lay next to me.” Willow shifted from her sitting position and then beckoned to Tara to join her.

Tara lay next to Willow on the bed and felt a shiver of pleasure as the redhead put her arm around her, she could feel her heart hammering and a confusing mass of emotions at the unexpected way this night was turning out. In her dreams she had fantasised about being with Willow but the reality was overloading her a little and she had no idea how to react, thankfully Willow seemed to be more than willing to take charge.

“We need to do this right,” Willow began, “will you go out with me? On a date I mean?”

“Yes,” Tara was amused at the formality in Willow’s voice, “I w-would love to.”

“I didn’t want to assume,” Willow laughed, “I am not large with the butch but I thought one of us ought to ask.”

“It’s more r-romantic that way,” Tara agreed, “it feels more real now that you asked me. So what did you want to do?”

“Dinner and a movie is kind of traditional for a first date.”

“No,” Tara spoke softly, “I meant now.”

“Oh,” Willow looked shyly at Tara and then looked away, “I like the talking,” Tara nodded, “and the music is good,” she looked back into Tara’s eyes, “but what I was really wanting was to kiss you.”

“Oh yes,” Tara gazed back into Willow’s green eyes, “I was kind of h-hoping you did.”

Willow felt her breath catch in her throat, this was it, the moment she had been dreaming of since taking Tara for coffee. It had only been a few days but it felt like an eternity and now she had to act. Closing her eyes she leaned forward searching out the lips that whispered in her dreams, at the first contact she felt a spark of electricity shoot through her and almost let out a cry of delight. Tara’s lips were so soft, this was nothing like any other kiss she had shared, it was beyond her ability to describe as she lost herself in the moment.

Tara had closed her eyes as she saw Willow move her face towards her and fractionally parted her lips. She had no frame of reference for this, she had never been kissed and now she was about to start with the closest thing to perfection her eyes had ever seen. She felt the slight pressure on her lips as Willow’s mouth found hers and felt the slow build up of a wave of pleasure at the sensation. Slowly she began to move her lips against Willow’s as the kiss intensified and the sensation of pleasure increased.

Tara’s lips were moving with hers and the kiss was deepening into something far more passionate than she had expected. Probing gently with her tongue she felt Tara’s lips part wider and gently she explored Tara’s mouth, teasing and withdrawing as their lips remained locked together, Willow felt waves of bliss rolling through her as the taste of Tara filled her.

The kiss was beyond anything in Tara’s wildest imaginings, when her lips had met Willow’s she thought she had experienced true pleasure but that had melted away to be replaced by something even deeper as Willow had boldly begun to explore her mouth with her tongue. Tara’s head was swimming with sensations and she allowed herself to be swept along on the current until finally, unable to restrain herself, she pushed her own tongue forward to clash with Willow’s, circling and entwining they duelled first in her mouth then Willow’s. Time stood still as Tara felt a sense of completeness she had never known in her life until this moment.

The feeling of Tara’s tongue clashing with hers had driven Willow to the brink of ecstasy or as close as was possible whilst still fully clothed. Willow was quickly losing the ability to think but remembering that Tara was not experienced she realised she needed to take things slowly. Savouring the sweet taste of Tara’s lips for a moment longer she broke away and instantly opened her eyes to see how the blonde reacted to their first kiss.

“Willow,” Tara exclaimed breathlessly, “that was…”

“Me too,” Willow added, “that was incredible.”

“Why did you s-stop?”

“I don’t want to rush you.”

“You didn’t” Tara smiled and then wrapped her arms around Willow’s neck pulling her in close again, “don’t ever stop,” she commanded as their lips met again.

…………………………………………………………………………

_________________
TARA: Breakfast will make all things better.
WILLOW: Ooh, pancakes could go in bellies.

Bargaining


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 9:24 am 
Offline
32. Kisses and Gay Love
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:35 am
Posts: 9572
Topics: 7
Location: Texas, Y'all
Hey there,
I don't usually read the cannon or between cannon type fics but I decided to give this one a try and I'm very glad that I did. Your writing is fantastic. It's very clear and detailed but moves quickly too. You've incorporated enough of s4 cannon to make it clear where we are in the progression of the episodes but not so much that there's no room for originiality. You've done a great job in this udpate of bringing the girls together through, gulp, honesty. I'm very proud of them for telling each other the truth and it worked! Well done.

_________________
Menorah Tales | Working It Out | Random Bits


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 9:29 am 
Offline
30. Sweaty and Kinda Gay
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:17 am
Posts: 5210
Location: Oregon
You know...this kind of writing makes me wish PENS had a recommendation thread for stories that are still in progress...Cause I would definitely put this one at the top of the "must read" list...sigh* So romantic...that's really all I can say right now..... :lol

Thank you so much for the update

take care

xoxo
Emms

_________________
G Wing


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:47 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:50 pm
Posts: 225
Location: québec, canada
OOOH!!! Update! And such a lovely update this is! I just love the way you describe the 'what we did not see' things between the episodes. It's just great!

And of course, THEY KISSED! Woohoo! :P Doing a great job with this, really, keep that up, will ya?

_________________
The clash of swords will bring them against each other, but one sword will bring them together:
Askeidevor


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:52 pm 
Offline
5. Willowhand

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:03 pm
Posts: 325
Awww. That last part was so sweet. I really liked how yoiu had Willow approach the situation with Tara. And Xander helping Willow was a nice touch. It shows that even though he didn't know any of the details, he still knew what to say to Willow to help her out. Great update and I can't wait to see where they go from here. First date goodness? Yay! :) Great update. I'm totally happy now.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:01 pm 
Offline
19. Yummy Face

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:40 pm
Posts: 2934
Location: Raleigh, NC
Great update. I am glad the ladies finally find the courage to tell each other how they really feel. The kiss is powerful.

_________________
Tara: Willow, I got so lost.
Willow: I found you. I will always find you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:10 pm 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 522
Location: Maine
Tara doodling Willow's name is so cute.

Quote:
Willow could not help laughing herself, “I don’t know, I wasn’t expecting to get this far tonight, I just wanted to give you a rose.”


Willow's so sweet. And their first kiss was just lovely.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:20 am 
Offline
5. Willowhand
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:58 pm
Posts: 318
Location: Essex
:bigwave Hey RaspberryHats! First off, sorry for not leaving fb for the last few updates. RL has been kinda crazy. I really am enjoying this wonderful fic. I love how your version of events work. Please don't take this the wrong way, but personally I wasn't convinced they had first time smoochies so soon, (but that's my opinion) but your fic has got me thinking otherwise! Can't wait for the next part! Hannah.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:47 am 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 65
Location: toronto,Ontario
Great udate cant wait for more


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:54 am 
Offline
15. Apple Sauce & Tuna
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:03 am
Posts: 2188
Location: Nottingham, England
Wonderful update..so frigging cute. :-D. 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]

Credit for icon: lj user crazedxinsanity


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:16 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
Thanks for all of the feedback, I hope the rest of the story doesn't dissapoint. Just to answer a few observations;

willowlovestara Strangely I am inclined to agree with you but it was out of my hands, I created the situation and Willow and Tara did the rest. I was not sure how to write that scene but I eventually decided to go with the kiss because things do move pretty quickly from that point. In researching for the story I read the thread here about how fast Willow and Tara were and it changed some of my opinions. There is a strong school of thought that believes the girls go all the way during The I in Team and although I don't subscribe to that view, the fact that the floating rose only occurs a few days before got me thinking that perhaps some kissing did occur and so I tried writing it that way and it seemed natural as it came out.

justskipit I love your writing and so I just have to say how insanely flattered I am that you took the time to read mine.

To everyone else who has posted so far, I really am lost for words to describe how much it means to me. Thank you all.

_________________
TARA: Breakfast will make all things better.
WILLOW: Ooh, pancakes could go in bellies.

Bargaining


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:24 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
Disclaimer All characters and locations belong to Mutant enemy and Joss Whedon. This is a non-profit fic written for the Kittens alone.

Background Season 4 during A New Man and The I in Team

Warning Some minor angst here although I promise it gets better fast. Slight cliffhanger warning too but another update should be with you by the weekend so don't throw those rocks at me.

Rating Still PG but there may be :wtkiss You will have to read to find out.


Between The Lines


Chapter Seven – She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not


Willow woke to the combined effect of sunlight streaming across her face as it peeped out of the covers and the stompy morning sounds of Buffy Summers, vampire slayer, college student and creator of ungodly noise in the early hours. Stretching a little under the covers Willow could not decide whether to keep her eyes open or closed, it was morning and she was awake but the lure of her warm bed and a deep sleepiness kept dragging her back under. The decision was not really hers to make, as once again she closed her eyes to block out the sun and perhaps recapture the dreams of a few moments ago she was startled back into wakefulness by a loud crash, the crossbow Buffy had left on her nightstand had inevitably been knocked over by the exuberant Slayer as she prepared to meet the day.

“Sorry Will,” a slightly shamefaced Buffy appeared in front of her, “I was trying to be quiet I swear.”

“S’ ok” Willow mumbled as she sat up a little and rubbed her sleepy eyes, “what time is it anyway?”

“Just after eight,” Buffy cheerfully replied and then catching Willow’s slightly frosty expression added, “I know we don’t have early classes but it’s a great day and I was thinking maybe you, me and breakfast?”

“In bed?” Willow asked hopefully.

“Sorry Will, not going to happen, I feel the need for Xander size portions and I am not carrying that much food back here no matter how much I love you,” Willow put on her game face, “or how much you pout.” Game face denied.

“So you feel the need for a giant breakfast but what’s in it for me? Willow protested. “I mean I like breakfast, yay for waffles, but I don’t hear a compelling argument for getting out of bed early on the one weekday that I don’t have to.”

“I have two reasons that should persuade you,” Buffy smiled at Willow’s sceptical expression, “first it’s my treat and second I feel ready for the girl chat, with all the details, the vicarious smoochies as you put it.”

Willow perked up instantly, “that sounds like an offer I can’t refuse, Mocha and gossip are the two things worth giving up this bed for.”

“I thought you might see it that way,” Buffy laughed as she headed for the door, “I am heading to the bathroom, you better be out of that bed by the time I get back or no waffles for you.”

Willow felt a moment of perfect happiness as the door closed, it was a good thing she had not been cursed by gypsies like poor Angel she mused happily to herself, there was just no way that life could be any better right now. A couple of days ago she had been fairly miserable, certain that Tara did not want her and concerned at the growing distance between the old High School gang. That now seemed a lifetime ago as she prepared for a morning of best friend gossip with Buffy and reflected on the perfect night spent in the arms of the girl she was now sure she was falling in love with.

Although she knew she ought to get up and start getting ready for the waffle marathon she could not resist the lure of the memories of last night. When she had arrived at Tara’s dorm she had been hoping that the romantic nature of the spell might begin to persuade Tara to look at her in a different light, the possibility that they might end the night in each other’s arms had not occurred to her. The whole evening had been like a wonderful surprise and she had to admit the reality had far surpassed any fantasy she may have had. The tenderness she had felt in Tara’s embrace eclipsed anything she had experience before and any doubt she may have had that this was what she really wanted had melted with that first kiss.

Savouring the memories of the night just gone was a special pleasure, one that she could happily have indulged in all morning, but being Willow she was just as excited at the thought of making plans. The events of last night had been unexpected and left Willow unusually lost for words but now she was anxious to know what this all meant for the future. One make-out session in Tara’s dorm didn’t make them girlfriends but that was what she wanted them to be and she hoped and believed that Tara did too. The idea of going on an official first date was ok for a start but how would things work in the long run? In her previous relationship she had understood all of the social conventions she was expected to conform to, Oz was the guy so generally he was the one to ask her for dates and although she generally paid her way he still would always offer to pay when they went anywhere. Although she was not dancing with Tara the question of who would lead was a tricky one.

The only way to resolve this was to talk it through with Tara, they were equals and so they would have to work out what felt most comfortable for each of them. It was possible that Tara might not have wanted Willow to ask her on a date but would rather have done the asking, Willow didn’t mind who took the lead personally but assumed that as Tara was so shy it would probably fall to her. That was a dangerous line of thought though, she could at times be guilty of assuming too much and before she put her foot in it she really needed to talk this over with Tara and understand the other girls feelings on how their relationship should develop. She thought again of the idea of being girlfriends and suppressed a giggle at how much her parents would wig when she told them.

The sound of footsteps outside the door startled her out of her reverie and fearing it was Buffy returning she leapt out of bed. Buffy might be in a good mood but she probably wouldn’t be too pleased to catch her daydreaming when she was supposed to be getting ready, a cranky Slayer could be a health hazard. The steps passed on but suitably warned Willow continued to prepare, grabbing her wash things and heading for the bathroom. Thought of Tara would have to wait but she decided for certain that she was going to have to call her as soon as possible, Willow had their whole future to arrange and she needed Tara’s input.

………………………………………………………………..

Tara pushed open the door to her dorm and before she had even made her way into the room her eyes had registered the lack of a tell tale flashing light on her answering machine. It was not as if she really expected Willow to have called yet, but still she could not help hoping nor help feeling disappointed that no call had come. The morning classes had been purgatory; Tara was not a natural student like Willow and so she needed to focus on her lessons, focus had however been beyond her as she had replayed last night over and over in her mind. All morning she had been impatient as if she felt she needed to be somewhere else, doing something else, but she could not put her finger on what that something might be.

Closing the door behind her she crossed to her desk and deposited her bag on the back of her chair. The magical feeling of the room was dispelled by daylight, the fairy lights and candles muted by the power of the sun. The effect today was more marked than ever, almost as if the harsh light of day rendered the events of last night part of some imaginary world that try though she might, Tara could not reach. The world of magic had always seemed to belong to the night but the spell that Willow had cast had nothing to do with Wicca or Roses, it was a spell forged from the union of two souls and it’s power had altered Tara forever. Last night she felt as though she had become another person, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, she had felt years of sorrow and loneliness slip away from her. Tara fretted again at how insubstantial all of that now seemed, her feelings of the night before melting away like mist in the morning sunlight, her insecurities reaching up to pull her back down. No matter how hard she tried to capture the details of last night she could not shake the feeling that it was some kind of dream and now she was back in the real world, the world where she had always felt alone.

Tara kicked off her shoes and after collecting a drink from her fridge she sat on the bed and leant back as she puzzled over the confusing feelings that had tormented her all day. She knew that last night was real, Willow had been here and they had kissed, they had both confessed their attraction to one another and the secrets each had kept had been laid bare. If she was to be logical about things then she knew there was little to worry about, Willow could not have faked what she was feeling last night and she knew her own feelings were genuine. Logic however had little to do with her heart, Tara had lived a life in which she never seemed to get what she wanted, her needs and desires suppressed for so long that it was impossible to believe the truth of what had happened to her. Tara realised that she was being foolish to doubt Willow but she could not control the way she felt, her insecurity was a part of her and not something that she could just switch off and on.

The details were what worried her most of all, the night itself already seemed hazy in her memory and the more she thought about it the more it seemed that it had been about the moment. Her own suppressed desire for Willow had overwhelmed her from the first and she had been unable to think straight but it seemed Willow had been caught up in the moment too. Now that she lay here alone, thinking about what it all meant, she could not help but feel the icy hand of paranoia on her shoulder as she considered how little had been said about where they would go from here. There had been a brief discussion about a real first date but then there had been kissing, a lot of kissing, and talk about dates had been forgotten. Once the kissing had finally abated there had been holding and togetherness, neither girl ready to go where the kissing might lead them, but there had been almost no conversation until Willow had left, anxious that her roommate might worry if she didn’t come home.

When she had woken up that morning Tara had initially been filled with an almost overpowering sense of euphoria but that had begun to dissipate even before she had left for her first class. The doors that had been opened last night had introduced her to pleasure and joy beyond her wildest imagining but she was quickly starting to realise that the higher she flew the further there was to fall. Tara had never really felt like she had anything to lose but now she had the most precious thing in the world and since Willow had left it had become harder and harder to believe that any of it was real. The agony of being apart, of not knowing what Willow was thinking or when she would see her again, all was fuel for her insecurity. Had Willow meant the things she said? Was she having second thoughts now the moment had passed? Was this just curiosity that would pass before Willow headed back to boys town?

Tara sighed, there were no answers to these questions in her mind, only Willow could answer them and she had to trust she would in time. For now she could only wait and hope for a call that would let her know she had not dreamed it and that Willow was truly hers.

……………………………………………………………..

Willow could not believe how rapidly her day had turned from perfect bliss to perfect misery. Her morning had been spent enjoying a leisurely breakfast and a good gossip session with Buffy followed by a trip to the library where she had daydreamed about Tara whilst pretending to work on an assignment. Afternoon classes had flown by and as she returned to her dorm she had been set on calling Tara as soon as she got home only to have her plans thrown into turmoil by Buffy and Xander and their talk of a demon attacking Xander in his basement. Heading over to Giles apartment she had just been mildly irritated at the interruption to her plans, it was probably Xander exaggerating and Giles would explain it all away in a moment and she could get back to what she really wanted to do.

The devastation at Giles apartment had rudely pulled her back to reality, something was out there and whatever it was it had taken Giles and done the Goddess only knows what to him. Sick with concern for her friend she now sat helplessly in his apartment waiting for Buffy to check in and praying that when she did it would be with good news. The strain of waiting and the feeling of helplessness was made worse by the fact that she was sharing her vigil with Xander and Anya, both of whom seemed to feel that bickering with each other was the best way to take their minds off their concern for the kindly Watcher.

Willow thought about calling Tara when she first realised that she was not going to get to see her tonight but there had been no opportunity. For one thing she could not get any kind of privacy with the live action Punch and Judy show being played out in the small apartment and for another Giles telephone appeared to have been smashed beyond repair by whatever had taken him. Willow felt a pang of guilt that she was unable to let Tara know where she was and then felt even more guilty for thinking of her own problems when Giles could be suffering who knows what kind of torment. She wanted to scream and shout in frustration but she had to bottle up her emotions until she could be alone.

“Why hasn’t she called,” Xander exclaimed, “she should have found him by now.”

“Called us how Xander?” Anya replied acerbically, “the telephone is smashed, but then again why would you notice, you never notice anything unless it hits you over the head.”

“If you can’t be constructive be quiet,” Xander growled, “you may not care but Giles is my friend and I don’t need a lecture on my shortcomings right now.”

“You never stop lecturing me,” Anya’s voice became shrill, “telling me how to behave, how I embarrass you,” she wagged her finger in Xander’s face, “so why can’t I tell you when you are wrong? Is this another of your stupid human rules, men and women can both make mistakes but you aren’t allowed to point them out when it’s a man who makes them?”

“Don’t wag your finger at me,” Xander snapped, “it’s nothing to do with being a man it’s just not the right time Anya, you may not care what happens to Giles but I do.”

“How dare you say I don’t care!” Anya’s voice was ear piercing now and Willow had had enough.

Unable to take anymore Willow stood up and walked out of Giles shattered door into the courtyard outside his apartment and suddenly everything was all right again, Giles, dressed in a ridiculously loud shirt, was headed down the steps with Buffy at his side.

“Giles, you are alright.” Willow rushed forward and hugged the Watcher, “you had me so worried.”

“Yes well, quite,” Giles polished his glasses to hide his embarrassment at the sudden show of affection, “come on inside and I will tell you about it.” Moving towards the door he paused, a pained expression on his face, “ah Anya is here, how delightful.”

“Come on Will,” Buffy added as she followed him to the door, “you are gonna flip when you hear this.”

Checking her watch Willow saw that it was too late to hope to get back in time to call Tara, gazing up at the stars she wondered what Tara was doing right now?

………………………………………………………….

Turning to look at the clock Tara sighed and put down the book she had been trying unsuccessfully to read, it was getting late and still Willow had not called and now it seemed she never would. Recalling what little had been said the night before Tara tried to figure out if she had misunderstood anything but she was clear on the fact that Willow had said she would call. She wanted to pick up the phone and end the waiting but if she did was that sending the wrong signal? Willow had her own life, had a lot of other friends, it was reasonable to think she may be busy and if Tara called then maybe Willow would think she was being too pushy. She so badly wanted to know where she stood and where things were going but the thought she might scare Willow off by being too clingy or suffocating was enough to stay Tara’s hand from reaching for the phone.

It was definitely too late for anything to happen tonight and so she might as well get ready for bed. It was no big deal, she couldn’t expect Willow to call or visit every day, they were still just starting out and they both needed their space. It all seemed so reasonable as she thought it but still the doubts in her mind persisted, what if Willow was not planning to call but was instead horrified by what had happened between them. It had all happened so fast that maybe she had not had time to think about her actions but had now had time to regret what she had done and was not sure how to explain to Tara that it was not going to happen. It was silly to feel this way but it was hard not to Tara thought as she got into the bed, she needed Willow to tell her that everything was going to be ok. She will call tomorrow Tara told herself but still it was a long time before her whispering insecurity allowed her to sleep.

…………………………………………………………………………..

Willow waved goodbye to Buffy as she left the Rocket Café and turned in the direction of Stevenson House. It was ironic that she had only recently been feeling disconnected from her friends and now she was having difficulty getting time away from them. She had been desperate to see Tara again but somehow events and her own reluctance to share Tara’s existence with her friends had conspired to keep her from even calling the other girl. First there had been Giles transformation into a demon and the panicky night that had followed, the next day she had foolishly dropped in on Xander and been roped into teaching Anya to play poker until it was again far too late to call and now today she was supposed to be meeting the gang for a night out at the Bronze.

If she had been willing to share her new relationship in public this could have been avoided, she could have told Xander that she couldn’t stay if she had admitted she wanted to go on a date or she could have asked Tara to come along tonight but she felt unable to be open yet when she was still working things out for herself. She had planned to call Tara after classes this morning and buy her lunch if she was free but unexpectedly Buffy had wanted to go for lunch and so she had again had to change her plans. It was not fair on Tara but until she was willing to tell her friends about her she was going to keep on getting caught out this way.

With just over an hour until her next class she was going to at least try to speak to Tara and let her know why she had not been in touch, hopefully they could meet up in the common room before class and maybe they could get around to making some concrete plans to see each other. Reaching her dorm she rushed to the telephone and hoped Tara would not be too upset with her for leaving it so long before calling again.

………………………………………………………………..

Tara reached her dorm and before she had even closed the door the tears she had been fighting to hold back began to fall. The last couple of days had been a kind of living hell as she had waited and waited for Willow to call, the insecurity and doubt building within her as she wondered if maybe she had done something wrong or if Willow had decided she had made a mistake. Today she had been unable to shake the depression that had settled on her and then almost as she had given up hope, Willow called.

The call itself had lasted moments as they had arranged to meet in the common room and yet the transformation had been spectacular, as she had hung up the phone her heart had soared and all of the fears of the past few days had vanished. Now, only thirty minutes later, her heart felt cold, as it seemed her worst fears had been realised. Over the last couple of days she had been sure that not knowing Willow’s intentions was the worst feeling imaginable but now she knew how wrong she had been.

The meeting had been a disaster and although Willow had not talked specifically about their relationship she was pretty sure she had understood the subtext. First Willow had made some attempt to explain why she had not called but it was obvious to Tara that Willow was being evasive and hiding something from her, the details had been too vague and Willow was not a convincing liar. Tara had been prepared to ignore her misgivings even then, perhaps Willow had a good reason to keep secrets from her and would explain in time, she did have secrets of her own after all. What had happened next though had been impossible to ignore, she had tried to make plans to see Willow tonight and Willow had blown her off so casually that she had been unable to hide her heartbreak, in her distress she had made an excuse about needing to get to class just so that she could be alone with her misery.

Thinking again of how Willow had told her she already had other plans she was not even sure what the truth really was. Willow had again been vague; something about plans with other friends but Tara was not sure what to believe. Willow was either just trying to avoid being alone with her or she was ashamed to introduce her to her friends, it all added up to the same thing, Willow was not interested in a relationship after all. Tara had been willing to settle for just friendship with Willow but after what had happened it seemed impossible that they could just be friends, it seemed as though things were over before they had even begun.

Looking at where she had thrown her things on the bed she caught sight of the dolls eye crystal that she had offered to Willow in her naivety. She had been so giddy after Willow’s call that she had impulsively taken it with her, she had so wanted to give Willow something that represented how deeply she felt for her. Now she felt her cheeks burn with humiliation as she realised she had made a fool of herself, Willow had refused the gift, another sign that she did not share Tara’s feelings. How could she have been so wrong? In all of her life she had grown used to disappointment so how could she have allowed her guard to drop so disastrously now? It was because she had wanted it to be true, had wanted to believe that she could find love, now she just wanted the earth to open up and swallow her.

……………………………………………………………………….

Willow’s heart felt like lead in her chest as she walked to the Bronze for what was meant to be a night of fun with the old gang. She had replayed her conversation with Tara over and over in her mind and every time she cringed as she realised how insensitive she had been. She had been so wrapped up in her own world that she had not truly considered how Tara must be feeling after she had kissed her and then promptly disappeared on her for three days. It was obvious now that Tara had been desperate for some sign that she had not changed her mind and yet everything she had said and done had given the impression that she had done just that.

She had thought that she owed Tara some explanation for not calling and yet that had been a huge mistake, her reluctance to reveal all of her Scooby secrets had made her explanations vague and unbelievable. Rejecting Tara’s gift had been a mistake of even greater proportions, Willow still felt that she was undeserving of such a precious gift but the hurt in Tara’s eyes had been clear, as if she felt it was she who was being rejected rather than the gift. After all of that Willow had still managed to cause even more pain with her offhand explanation of why they could not meet tonight, once again her desire to keep Tara and her friends separate had caused her to be evasive. It was no wonder Tara had left at that point, Willow realised that if the situations had been reversed she would have felt devastated so she could easily imagine how much she had hurt Tara with her casual behaviour.

Approaching the entrance to the Bronze she forced a smile onto her face, it did not reach her eyes but she had to put on a brave face if she wanted to avoid awkward questions from her friends. Truthfully she wanted to forget the whole thing and run to Tara now to let her know just how sorry she was and just what a fool she had been but she had made a promise and she always kept her promises. Now she made another promise to herself, she would make it right with Tara and make up for all of the hurt she had caused with her thoughtless behaviour.

………………………………………………………………….

“Willow?”

“A funny thing happened with my prior social engagement. Pretty much ended when a friend of mine went off to do something with another crowd she hangs out with. Irony is kind of ironic that way. Anyway, I know it's late, but I-I thought maybe-- I mean, if you still wanted to . . . do something?”

Tara smiled as she held the door open wide for Willow to enter, after the emotion of earlier in the day she had spent the evening working on her studies to take her mind off her heartbreak, hope had all but died. Now though, just the sight of Willow standing there had brought all of the emotion back again and hope flared anew in her heart, Willow had come to her. A tiny voice protested that she should not be so happy at being second choice but she refused to listen as she looked expectantly at Willow as the redhead nervously stood in the middle of the room.

“Were you busy?” Willow asked as she took in the notes and open textbooks that covered a large area of Tara’s bed.

“N-not so much, I was just about done actually.”

“Good, that’s good,” Willow shuffled nervously, “so you don’t mind? If I stay for a while I mean?”

“I want you to,” Tara smiled but it did not quite hide the sadness in her eyes, “you know that you are always w-welcome here.”

“Tara,” Willow’s voice betrayed her anxiety, “I’m sorry about..”

“No Willow,” Tara interrupted, “you d-don’t have to apologise.”

“Yes I do,” Willow forced herself to look Tara in the eye as she spoke, “I know I hurt you, whether you want to admit it or not, and I need you to know I am sorry and it won’t happen again. I should have called you sooner, I just got so wrapped up in my own problems and then today, the way we left things, I was so stupid.”

“You don’t have to explain,” Tara lied, she wanted to know what was happening, why Willow seemed so evasive with her and kept disappearing on her but she didn’t want to risk further pain, “we can do something if you l-like, a spell maybe?”

Willow’s eyes fell on the dolls eye crystal and she wanted desperately to take Tara up on her offer but she knew that she was being offered an easy way out and it would be wrong to take it. “Maybe later,” Willow gestured towards the bed, “why don’t we sit down?”

“Ok,” Tara agreed and hurriedly cleared away her work, with the bed clear she gestured for Willow to sit and then joined her, sitting close but not yet touching.

“Tara,” Willow took Tara’s hands in her own, “I meant everything I said to you before, how I want us to be together, you do know that right?”

“Y-yes.” Tara replied unconvincingly.

“Is that yes spelt m-a-y-b-e?” Willow could see the confusion in Tara’s eyes, “I know the way I behaved earlier gave you reason to doubt me.”

“I believe you it’s just,” Tara tried to explain, “when I am with you I can b-believe but then you go away and it’s like it can’t be real.”

“I didn’t think, here I am with all of these thoughts about how this is all new to me and it’s all new for you too isn’t it?” Tara nodded as Willow continued, “I have all of these things distracting me and I go off and leave you and I didn’t even think about what you were going through.”

“I shouldn’t d-doubt you.”

“Why not? I gave you enough reasons, not calling for days and then putting my friends before you. I would doubt me, that’s what I realised, if I was in your shoes I would have doubted me a whole lot and again, I am sorry.”

“It’s better already,” Tara smiled, “no more apologies.”

“So you forgive me,” Willow flashed a smile.

“Forgiven,” Tara nodded, “I p-promise.”

“I still owe you an explanation though, for the disappearing act, it’s just that I don’t know if you will believe me if I tell you.”

“Why not?”

“It’s not exactly normal, it’s complicated and you might think I need to see the nice people in the white coats.”

“You d-don’t have to tell me,” Tara was crying out to know the truth but wouldn’t push, “but I will believe whatever you say if you do.”

“Ok, well you know how things in Sunnydale are not exactly normal?”

…………………………………………………………….

Tara giggled, “I still can’t believe Buffy is the Slayer.”

Willow lay propped on her arm looking down at the giggling blonde, “why do you say that?”

“She is just so t-tiny,” Tara explained, “I mean she doesn’t look like a superhero.”

“But you believe me?”

“Of course Willow,” Tara pulled herself back up into a sitting position, “I always knew there was a lot m-more to the world than the things we see. When you live with magic everyday the supernatural is just the natural.”

“Speaking of magic.” Willow let the comment hang there.

“You want to do a s-spell?”

“Only if you want to,” Willow looked at her watch, “it’s after midnight so if you want me to go?”

“No, stay,” Tara stepped up from the bed and reaching for Willow’s hand pulled the other girl up to stand beside her. “My choice this t-time.”

Tara caught herself humming as she directed Willow to sit on a cushion while she collected the things she would need for the spell. The happiness bubbled up from inside her as she realised that her anxieties had all left her, she felt that Willow’s decision to tell the truth about her friends signalled another step forward in their relationship. The spell she wanted to perform was a simple one but she hoped that Willow would understand why she chose it.

“Ok,” Tara sat facing Willow and placed a small burner between them, “this is another t-test of synchronicity. We can use the dolls eye crystal to amplify our powers.”

“Cool, will there be petals?” Willow laughed.

“Maybe,” Tara nodded, “if our connection is strong enough.”

“We are going to make them?”

“In a way,” Tara gestured towards the burner, “we are going to link hands and try to c-control the direction of the smoke, if we can do that then we can try to form patterns with it, my mother taught me like this.”

Wow,” Willow’s eyes shone with excitement, “light it,” she commanded, “this will be amazing.”

Tara lit the burner and watched as a slow spiral of smoke began to climb toward the ceiling. Satisfied that it was fully alight she picked up the dolls eye crystal then linked hands with Willow and began to concentrate, “ready?”

“Ready,” Willow agreed and focused on joining her power with Tara. The connection was there as strong as it had been when they first had joined hands to move the soda machine.

“We start by smoothing the flow of the smoke,” Tara explained, “see the way it swirls, we p-picture it as a straight column and if we are joined it should work.”

Willow understood and could feel their minds unified already, within an instant the random, swirling column of smoke had straightened into a perfect line.

“Good,” Tara enthused, “do you feel the connection?”

“I feel you.” Willow smiled and her smile grew wider at the blush that coloured Tara’s cheeks.

“Later maybe,” Tara tried a little spicy talk. “Do you w-want to see what we can do?”

“Sure,” Willow was distracted at the thought of later but she was enjoying the feel of the magic, “how do we decide?”

“We choose what we want to form and then we n-need to focus on creating it, if we are in perfect synch we can create in h-harmony, if we are not together it fails.”

“So it’s like a test,” Willow enthused, “I love tests.”

“Start simple,” Tara cautioned, “maybe a circle?”

Willow focused on the image of a circle within her mind and continued to smooth the smoke as it flowed from the burner, opening her eyes again she was delighted to see a perfect circle of smoke hovering in the air between them.

“Now you choose,” Tara smiled at the expression of joy on Willow’s face as she contemplated the circle between them.

……………………………………………………….

Willow had marvelled at the feel of the magic as she worked it with Tara, joined and amplified through the dolls eye crystal held jointly in their hands. They had amused each other for what had felt like moments but was probably far longer as they twisted the column of smoke into whatever caught their imagination. Tara had decided to end by creating a heart that now hovered between them, perfect in itself but Willow felt the need for one more final touch. “A Rose,” she began, “but through the heart.”

Tara was delighted at how powerful the connection felt, it was more than just the use of the crystal as a focus item, the shared closeness of the other night had brought them even more in tune and they were managing the kind of synchronicity usually only seen in casters who had worked together for years. Smiling at Willow’s romantic notion she concentrated on a rose, splitting off some of the smoke as she focused on maintaining the heart shape and then slowly combining the two images.

Enchanted they both looked in wonder at their creation for a few moments before finally Tara broke the spell. “I need a b-break, the smoke is kind of hurting my eyes too,” she giggled.

“So pretty,” Willow replied, “the heart was nice too,” she added with a wink as Tara felt herself blush again at the sly compliment.

“You should rest b-before you go,” Tara could feel the shakiness that followed intense casting and guessed Willow would not be too steady either, “just lay down while you get some strength b-back.”

“Vixen,” Willow teased, “you sure you don’t have more than rest on your mind?”

Tara felt she could not blush any deeper, still she enjoyed the playfulness of Willow’s mood and she could not deny the effect that casting together was having on her. She moved over to the bed, not trusting herself to reply, then gestured for Willow to lay beside her.

“You feel it too?” Willow had to know.

“I feel it,” Tara agreed, “sharing something so intense, if you are attracted it heightens the feelings.”

“Hmm feeling,” Willow smiled, “so is now the later you were referring too?”

“I think so,” Tara’s voice grew hushed as she realised how intently Willow was looking at her, “w-what were you thinking?”

“I was thinking it has been too long since I kissed you.”

“Much too long,” Tara agreed, “why d..” her words were silenced as Willow’s lips closed over hers.

…………………………………………………

The kissing had seemed to last only moments but as they separated, momentarily spent, Tara caught sight of her clock and was shocked to realise it was 4am. She had to let Willow go, they both had classes tomorrow, or rather later today, and they would need some sleep if they were going to be able to function.

“Why are we stopping?” Willow complained from beside her.

“The time,” Tara began, “we kind of lost t-track, its late Willow.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Willow began but had to stifle a yawn, “I don’t want this to end.”

“I need a drink,” Tara scooted off the bed, “d-do you want some water.”

“Sure,” Willow smiled up at Tara as the blonde picked her way across the room by the soft glow of the fairy lights. Willow stretched a little on the bed, luxuriating in the rush of sensations the night had brought. She had made things right with Tara and then the magic had taken over, both the casting kind and the two girls together kind. The kissing had been even more wonderful than before but still she had not allowed things to go any further, at least not much further. The first time when they had kissed she had pretty much kept her hands to herself but this time she had allowed herself the luxury of touching, nothing serious but a little tentative exploration that hinted at the pleasures still to come when the time was right.

Sitting up on the bed she watched as Tara prepared the drinks and wondered if she dared ask what was on her mind, it felt right but would Tara think her too forward? It was innocent enough really and after all that had happened so far she doubted that Tara would object.

“For you,” Tara smiled and handed Willow a glass.

“Thanks,” Willow returned the smile and then decided to take the plunge before her nerve failed. “Tara, I was thinking about buying you breakfast.”

“Now?” Tara looked momentarily confused, “it’s a little early.”

“No silly,” Willow laughed, “in the morning, I mean, it’s morning now but you need to go to bed and then get up before breakfast, otherwise it’s a late late supper.”

“You want to meet for b-breakfast in the morning?”

“No,” Willow felt her heart rate increase at her daring, “I want to wake up with you and take you for breakfast.”

“You mean?”

“I mean, can I stay tonight?”

“Stay with m-me?”

“Yes you, I know I could go but I want to keep on holding you,” Willow’s voice dropped to a whisper, “and I want to be here to see you when you wake up.”

“W-willow, I would,” Tara could hardly believe this was happening, “I mean yes, I want you to s-stay.”

“Good that’s settled then,” Willow smiled and pulled Tara close to her again, “and I will pay for my lodging with a breakfast fit for a Queen.” Willow cupped Tara’s face in her hands and moved ever closer, “kiss now?”

“Yes p-please,” Tara giggled as they sank back into one another’s embrace.

_________________
TARA: Breakfast will make all things better.
WILLOW: Ooh, pancakes could go in bellies.

Bargaining


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:36 pm 
Offline
5. Willowhand

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:03 pm
Posts: 325
Dibs!

:D

Aww. That was another great update. I liked how Willow realized that she gave Tara reason to doubt her. Although you knew that Willow didn't feel comfortable taking the Doll's Eye Crystal, it still came out kinda harsh the way it was stated. Plus, Tara just deflated so much. It really fits why you have that action effecting her so much. Liked the end with Willow going to Tara's dorm. *sigh* Who am I kidding? I just love this behind-the-scenes stuff.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:34 pm 
Offline
19. Yummy Face

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:40 pm
Posts: 2934
Location: Raleigh, NC
I am loving this. Keep up the good work. Though I don't think Willow waited three days to call Tara on the actual show. That is the beauty of putting your own spin on things, isn't it?

_________________
Tara: Willow, I got so lost.
Willow: I found you. I will always find you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:56 pm 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:09 am
Posts: 471
Location: Shoalhaven,NSW, Australia
Hi RaspberryHats
I got a bit behind in reading this fic, but oooooo! I got two for one, lucky me! Such nice long updates too.

Really enjoying this RH, you're filling in the behind the scenes very nicely. Keep up the good work.

Thanks
Anne

_________________
Spells for Two

Every path has its puddle. Old English Saying... I think I just stepped in mine...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:08 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:50 pm
Posts: 225
Location: québec, canada
Oh! I had started reading that update yesterday but unfortunately had to stop and well... things ahpened and stuff... but I finished it now and...

Yay! That's just so beautiful. Willow and Tara together making smoke shapes! You write so well :) I wish I could be able to produce frequent upgrades too... but i'm at a loss right now... so, well, I just love this fic anyway. Lil hints to know where we're at in the show, but not too much so it's all W/T and no Buffy/Riley (lol i hated that couple...)

Keep up the good work!

_________________
The clash of swords will bring them against each other, but one sword will bring them together:
Askeidevor


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:11 pm 
Offline
30. Sweaty and Kinda Gay
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:17 am
Posts: 5210
Location: Oregon
Wonderful update. I really like the fact that they are taking things slow. But at least Willow's gonna stay the night :-D


xoxo
Emms

_________________
G Wing


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 9:36 am 
Offline
15. Apple Sauce & Tuna
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:03 am
Posts: 2188
Location: Nottingham, England
That was so frigging adorable..awwww. 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]

Credit for icon: lj user crazedxinsanity


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:17 am 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
Disclaimer As with all previous chapters this makes use of characters and situations created by Joss Whedon. Thanks Joss the check is in the mail.

Background Season 4, Goodbye Iowa. It's Willow and Tara and the chapter title might give you a clue what they are up to.

Feedback Yes please, it's why I keep writing.


Between The Lines


Chapter Eight – First Date


The sun peeped through a gap in the curtains, casting a narrow beam of light onto the bed where the two figures lay cocooned, red hair and blonde tangled together on the pillows where two faces lay inches apart. The sunrise brought with it the first gentle sounds of life as UC Sunnydale woke up to another day, soft birdsong followed by footfalls and voices as the early risers headed out for breakfast or for a morning run around the Campus grounds. The combination of light and sound gradually filtered through the dreams of one of the figures and slowly, so as not to wake the figure next to her, the blonde raised her head from the pillows and propped herself up on one arm as she gazed at her sleeping companion.

Tara knew it was still early, probably only a little over two hours since they had finally fallen asleep, yet she felt more rested than she could ever remember after a nights sleep. Most nights her sleep was fitful, the loneliness she had lived with for so long coupled with more mundane worries such as how to stretch her tiny budget through a whole year kept her mind whirring when she was long past the point of needing to sleep. With Willow beside her she had felt only tranquillity as though she was untouchable, the soft breathing in her ear had seemed like the most soothing music she had heard and the warmth of the body spooned against hers had felt like a rock of calm in the ocean of her troubles. The sight of Willow sleeping now, her mouth parted in a tiny o, filled her heart until she felt as though it might burst. Tara had known joy beyond her wildest imagining since meeting Willow but this feeling was beyond happiness or pleasure, this was the overwhelming power of pure unadulterated love.

When Willow had asked to stay Tara had been momentarily taken aback, she could not refuse Willow anything but she was far from certain that she was ready for such a big step. Willow was beautiful and everything Tara could ever want but she did not want to rush into such an important moment in her life. Willow had been literal as ever though, when she had asked to sleep with Tara she had meant sleep, apparently she was in no rush to jump ahead with the physical side of their relationship either, she had simply wanted to be close to her. Considering this Tara realised it was yet another reason to love Willow, as if she needed another, there was a sweetness and innocence to Willow that was enchanting. When Willow spoke of her adventures alongside her friends on the hellmouth she seemed so worldly and experienced and yet in an instant she could beguile Tara with the childlike innocence of her heart.

Time seemed to stand still as Tara gazed at Willow, desperate to drink in every detail and commit it to memory, if she could be trapped in this moment forever she could be eternally happy. She felt an overwhelming urge to grab her sketchbook and capture the image on paper but she did not want to risk disturbing Willow by getting out of the bed to fetch her things. In truth she could easily draw this image from memory if she felt the need, her memory for scenes and images was photographic.

“The bees like apple butter.” Willow’s voice interrupted Tara’s reverie.

“Willow?”

“Who’s there,” Willow sat bolt upright in the bed gazing in confusion at her surroundings, “oh Tara, it’s you.” Willow smiled at the blonde and lay back down on the bed. “Hey you.”

“H-hey,” Tara answered, “so about the bees?”

“What bees?”

“You said something about b-bees and apple butter?” Tara wondered if Willow was teasing her.

“I did?” Willow took in Tara’s nod and realised an explanation was needed, “that can happen, I dream babble.”

“You do?” That was just too adorable Tara decided.

“All my life,” Willow confirmed, “it’s part of the Willow package so run away now if you don’t think you can handle it.”

“I c-can handle it.” Tara flashed Willow her trademark crooked smile, “did you sleep well?”

“Very well,” Willow looked coyly at Tara as she continued, “in fact I think I could get used to this.”

“Me too,” Tara agreed.

“I am not being pushy am I?” Willow suddenly panicked, “I don’t mean I expect to be here every night, I mean presume much?”

“It’s ok Willow,” Tara giggled at Willow’s weird way of explaining things, “you can s-stay any time you like.”

“I like the sound of that,” Willow stretched a little, easing some of the kinks out of her muscles from sleeping in a strange bed, “you may get tired of me hanging around here all the time though.”

“I c-could never get tired of you.” Tara spoke and then immediately blushed at the boldness of the statement; not exactly playing it cool she worried as she watched Willow’s reaction.

Willow was taken aback a little at the emotion behind Tara’s words but just as swiftly realised how much she had wanted to hear Tara say something like that, to re-assure her that she had not gone too far in asking to stay with her. “Nor I you,” Willow smiled shyly up at Tara, “looks like you are stuck with me.”

“I am not c-complaining,” Tara laughed gently at the understatement, “so what did you want to do now?”

“I promised you breakfast, what time is it?”

“Just after seven, we d-don’t need to rush.”

“Good, I intend to keep my promise but I don’t feel like getting up just yet,” Willow reached up for Tara and pulled her down next to her, “I need morning snuggles first.”

…………………………………………………………..

Tara flipped through the stack of notes and textbooks on her desk searching for the things that she would need for her classes, normally she would have these things set out ready but Willow’s surprise arrival last night had upset her routine and in her haste to clear things off the bed they had become jumbled. She could just see Willow out of the corner of her eye, the redhead had perched on the end of the bed and clearly assuming Tara was distracted was watching her intently. Tara was surprised to find that she was enjoying Willow’s scrutiny, normally being watched by anyone made her self conscious but with Willow it was almost arousing, also kind of funny as Willow was oblivious to just how obvious she was being.

With her bag packed Tara ran through her checklist, she had her wallet, keys and a snack for between classes if she needed it, she was ready to go. Making one last visual sweep of the room to be sure she had not forgotten anything, she caught sight of the dolls eye crystal on her bookshelf. Impulsively she picked the crystal up and turning it over in her hand she decided that this was something she needed to do and she would not be denied a second time. Tara walked to the bed, the crystal concealed in one hand, and with a smile she held out her free hand to help Willow up.

“Ready to go?” Willow stated the obvious.

“Yes, w-well almost,” Tara began shyly, “I wanted to do one more thing and then we can go.”

“Will it take long? My tummy is rumbling and there is a plate of waffles somewhere with my name on it.”

“Not long,” Tara summoned all of her determination before continuing, “I w-want you to have this,” she offered the dolls eye crystal to Willow. “I know what you said yesterday,” she hurriedly continued as Willow opened her mouth to protest, “but this feels right, it c-connects us now and I need you to take it.”

Willow was momentarily lost for words but as she looked at Tara she could clearly see how important this was to her, the blue eyes offered a mute plea for her to accept the gift and not question it and she understood that she could not refuse. It was clear that the crystal represented the reality of what was happening between them, if she rejected it she was rejecting Tara and the truth of their feelings for one another. The understanding brought with it a shiver of delight, she had known Tara was insecure about their relationship but beneath the surface so was she and the crystal represented the fact that she did not have to doubt Tara’s feelings for her.

“Thank you,” Willow took the crystal from Tara’s outstretched hand and was rewarded with a smile of pure delight, “I think I understand now and I want you to know this is the most precious gift I have ever been given.” Willow wondered if Tara understood that her words were as much concerned with the sentiment behind the gift as the gift itself.

“It’s no more than you have given t-to me,” Tara offered shyly, “I wish I had more to offer you but..”

“You have given me everything I could ask,” Willow interrupted her, “more than that even,” placing the crystal inside her pocket she continued, “I will treasure it and I want you to know it will only ever be for us.”

“I h-hoped it would,” Tara was thrilled that Willow had understood and was even more thrilled as the redhead pulled her into an impulsive embrace.

Willow kissed Tara passionately but briefly and then parted, with a teasing smile she edged towards the door, “I think you earned a super special breakfast but first you have to catch me,” poking out her tongue Willow turned and ran out of the door laughing as Tara raced to catch her.

………………………………………………………………

Willow woke to one of the more unpleasant mornings she had encountered in recent memory, and she could remember some bad ones. In contrast to sleeping alongside Tara, the experience of sleeping sandwiched between Anya and Buffy in Xander’s basement was anything but pleasurable. The volume of Anya’s snoring coupled with the squeaks and occasional groans of discomfort from Giles had certainly not helped but it was mostly the frustration at being kept from being with Tara once again that had tormented her as she tossed and turned in a futile attempt to sleep. This time she had at least managed to call and explain where she was, Giles new cordless telephone had allowed her to sneak into the bathroom and place a quick private call to Tara before the Scooby sleep over began. Still, a telephone call was a poor substitute for the real thing and she had missed Tara last night, feeling surprisingly lonely despite being surrounded by friends.

Emotional stability seemed beyond her reach as she tried to tune out the bickering between Anya and Giles over who had made the most noise during the night. On the one hand she was concerned and even a little frightened at the thought that somehow the Scooby gang had become a target for the creeps who were running the Initiative but on the other she kept finding herself bubbling over with happiness as she thought again of Tara. It seemed that there was an infinite variety of thoughts she could have about Tara and not one of them was unpleasant although increasingly there were quite a few R rated thoughts that ought to shock her but didn’t. Willow wanted to play it cool and take things slow with Tara but she was learning that she did not have much control over her feelings, the heart wants what it wants and no amount of logic could cool her desire for the beautiful blonde.

The first date issue still loomed large in Willow’s mind, it was probably silly to even think of it that way after all they had already done together but she was a tradionalist at heart and it seemed right that they should have an official first date, something to look back on and celebrate as an anniversary one day maybe. Chuckling to herself as the thought of anniversaries reminded her of how far ahead of the game she was getting, Willow concluded that the date needed to be soon, somehow she could not allow matters with Tara to go any further until she had checked this strangely significant item off her wish list. Certainly it had to be within the next day or two she decided, big evil or not Buffy would just have to straighten things out with the initiative creeps so that the streets of Sunnydale were safe again for a couple of young Wiccans, as safe as they ever could be anyway.

Willow’s musings were interrupted by Xander’s return with the breakfast tray and hearing the urgency in his voice she quickly slipped out of the bed to turn the TV back on. The news report silenced the crowded basement until realisation hit Buffy and in a flash the college student was gone and the Slayer was in control as she focused on her sacred duty. Picking up on Buffy’s guilt Willow tried to re-assure her friend that this was not her fault but it was clear that action and not words was the only solution for Buffy right now. As she listened to Buffy’s impassioned vow of mayhem and destruction on the beast Willow did not think for a moment that the yummy sushi pyjamas spoiled the effect, Willow did however think that maybe here was a chance for her to prove useful to the gang and it would also give her an excuse to see Tara again.

………………………………………………………………..

Tara was wracked with guilt as she closed the door behind Willow and crossed back over to her bed. It had been painful to see the obvious disappointment and confusion in Willow’s eyes as the locator spell had failed but what other choice did she have? The moment she had realised what it was that Willow wanted to do she had begun to panic, terrified that her deepest secret was about to be revealed and just as she was finally finding some happiness in her life. The decision to sabotage the spell had not really been a conscious one but an instinctive reaction borne of the desire to keep Willow from discovering the one thing about her that she was sure the redhead would never be able to accept or forgive.

Tara knew that her demon heritage would eventually cost her the chance of true happiness with Willow but she felt that somehow she deserved more time before the moment of truth. Life was unfair, to know that at the age of twenty-one she would almost certainly lose everything she cared about was a terrible burden to carry, was it so wrong to want to take every chance of happiness before that day arrived? Tara did not want to dwell too much on that question for she feared that if she did she would be forced to admit she was wrong. Willow had told her what her life involved, helping the Slayer to combat evil, there was no doubt that something evil and dangerous was on the loose and she had sabotaged Willow’s hopes of finding and stopping it for the sake of her own happiness.

Desperate to distract herself from the questions she did not want to face, she picked up her sketch pad from the bedside table and flicked to the page she had been working on when Willow had arrived. The sketches of Willow’s face had been replaced by full life drawings in the last 24 hours, the image of Willow preparing for bed, a vision of perfection in her semi clad state, was all that had come to her as she had drawn with her heart and not her eyes. Tara could feel already that despite her inexperience the desire building within her was not going to be satisfied with kisses and the occasional almost accidental touch for much longer, she wanted more and she hoped that the look she had seen in Willow’s eyes on more than one occasion the other night meant that the other girl did too.

Tara flicked to a clean page in the book and absent mindedly began to sketch another image, the sounds of the pencil scratching on the paper had a soothing effect on her as she sought to block out any feelings of guilt over her actions this afternoon. Slowly another image of Willow appeared and when it was complete she turned the page and began the process again, whiling away the time until either Willow returned or it became too late to wait any longer. The sun slowly shifted across the sky and yet Tara was oblivious to the passage of time or even more basic desires such as thirst or hunger, her state of mind close to meditative as the world shrank until it consisted only of the bed and the book in her hands.

The sound of the telephone ringing jerked Tara awake and for a moment she was completely disorientated as the room was shrouded in darkness. Flicking on the light switch as she reached for the telephone, her eyes fell upon countless images of Willow, pages torn from her book and scattered around the bed as she had poured her heart into her drawing. She had worked for hours and eventually had been overcome with tiredness and closed her eyes, just for a moment it seemed, as weariness had swept through her.

“H-hello.” She heard the sleepiness in her own voice as she answered the call.

“Tara, hey it’s me,” it was the voice she had been sure it would be, “Willow,” the voice clarified as if she needed to be told.

“Hi Willow, how are you?” The fog of sleep was clearing swiftly and Tara was anxious to know if Willow and her friends had found the demon or if anyone else had been hurt.

“I am fine,” Willow began and realising what may be on Tara’s mind continued, “everyone is fine actually, well except for Riley but then that is what he gets for not listening to me.”

“R-Riley?” Tara racked her brain as she tried to place him and then remembered that was the name of Buffy’s new boyfriend, “what happened, d-did he get hurt?”

“Well yes, but Buffy thinks he will be ok,” Willow’s voice took on a note of indignation, “I told him not to go but he just shoved me out of the way, typical macho man thinking he knows best.”

“He p-pushed you?” Tara didn’t know Riley at all but already she was forming an impression that she didn’t want to, how dare he lay a hand on Willow.

“Yes,” Willow’s voice softened a little, “but he was worried about Buffy I guess so maybe it was understandable.”

Tara didn’t think she could be quite so forgiving but she let it pass, “and the demon? Did you find it?”

“It’s not a demon,” Willow exclaimed, “that’s part of what I wanted to tell you, it’s some kind of science project that the Initiative were working on, bits of demon, man and machine mixed together to make some super warrior I guess, the idiots don’t know what they were messing with.”

“So the s-spell?” Tara didn’t like the sound of some super warrior engineered by the government but she had to know.

“Wouldn’t have worked,” Willow confirmed to Tara’s relief, “we are still getting details from Buffy but I am guessing this thing would not show up as human or demon, it’s more of a machine than anything.”

“You are with B-Buffy now?” Tara was surprised to think Willow might have called with her friends around.

“Sort of, we are at Xander’s but I got a few moments alone while the others went out to pick up some food, we are having a Scooby council of war thing when they get back, figuring out how to squish the big evil I guess.”

Tara could not quite hide her disappointment, both that Willow was apparently going to be busy tonight and also that she was still keeping her a secret from her friends it seemed, “I guess I won’t s-see you tonight then?”

“I am sorry Tara,” Willow picked up the disappointment in Tara’s voice but smiled to herself, she did have some good news after all, “Buffy needs my help right now but I swear that I would rather be with you than anywhere else, that kind of brings me to the other thing I wanted to talk to you about.”

“I understand,” Tara knew that Willow could not abandon her friends at a time like this and it was part of what she loved about her, her curiosity was also piqued by Willow’s last comment, “what d-did you want to talk about?”

“Do you like Mexican food?”

“Umm, yes,” where was Willow was headed with this.

“Good, I need to make reservations cos it’s a pretty popular place.”

“Reservations?” Did Willow mean?

“Yes, for tomorrow night,” Willow could not keep the excitement form her voice, “I don’t have all the details from Buffy yet but it seems that we don’t have to hide from the Initiative guys anymore so I was thinking, tomorrow would be good for that first date I keep promising you.” Tara was speechless for a moment and Willow naturally misinterpreted her silence, “that is if you want to, I am being pushy again aren’t I? I should ask you first before I go off making plans.”

“Willow,” Tara found her voice at last and her happiness shone through in her tone, “I would l-love to go out with you tomorrow, thank you.”

“Cool, I will pick you up at 6.30 if that’s ok?” Willow’s relief and happiness were as evident to Tara as Tara’s happiness must have been to Willow.

“That will be p-perfect,” a thought struck Tara, “what should I wear?”

“Whatever you like,” Willow re-assured her, “I’m sorry but I need to go now but I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

“Me too,” Tara agreed happily, “goodnight Willow.”

“Night Tara, take care.”

Tara hung up the telephone and sat there dazed for a moment, unable to take in just how wonderful the call had made her feel, Willow had made everything better again and they were going on a date, a real date. Unable to contain her glee any longer she leaped up from the bed and turned on her stereo, she felt the need for loud music and she felt an urge to dance and jump around like an excitable child at Christmas. Now if only she could figure out what she was going to wear?

………………………………………………………………………..

Tara looked at her watch for what seemed the hundredth time and could scarcely believe that less than 2 minutes had passed since last she had looked, it felt like at least 10 minutes if not more, could it be running slow? When Willow had first mentioned the idea of an official first date she had thought it was romantic if a little unnecessary, then as the days had passed it had become simply a quaint obsession of Willow’s, nice if it happened but no big deal. The evidence of the last hour had told her how wrong she had been, Willow’s quaint obsession had suddenly become the most important moment in her life and just as it was arriving it seemed time had decided to stand still just to torment her.

The day had been a busy one, in anticipation of an evening out and the possibility that Willow might want to stay again she had made sure to get as much done as possible so that she could enjoy herself without any unfinished work hanging over her head to spoil the mood. Keeping busy had proven a very effective way of keeping her mind off the date and she managed to get through most of the day without thinking too much about the night ahead. Everything had changed when she had finally begun to get ready for the big date, chores forgotten her mind had switched full time into anticipation of the date and in an instant she was an emotional wreck, fluctuating between wild excitement and blind panic. There was no logic here, seeing Willow was always exciting but for some reason just because the date word was involved this had become the biggest of big deals.

The sound of knocking brought Tara back to the moment, it had to be Willow and thank the goddess she was early, Tara didn’t think she could have handled waiting any longer. Her legs felt like rubber as she walked to the door to open it, her heart was beating like a drum and it felt as though she could not breathe, for a brief moment she feared she might actually faint before she got the door open but then almost as if by magic her hand was on the handle, swinging the door open to reveal Willow on her threshold.

“Hey Tara, ready for yummy Mexican food?”

“Mhm,” Tara tried to make a recognisable human sound but the effort was beyond her in her current state so she settled for a nod as she backed away to let Willow into the room.

“I hope you don’t mind me coming early but I was ready and I just got too excited to wait until it was time,” Willow was looking appraisingly at Tara as she spoke, “you look ready, I mean, you look good.”

Tara blushed a little at the compliment, she didn’t think she looked too good, not by comparison to Willow at least. “I am g-glad you came, I was ready too.” Tara returned Willow’s appraisal and decided that she had never seen anything so lovely in her life, Willow was dressed casually in blue jeans with a flower motif on the hem and a green silk shirt that cut off fractionally above her waistband to allow a tantalising glimpse of skin. “You look good too,” maybe it was just the fact that they were going on a date but just the sight of Willow was causing her heart to skip a beat.

“Thanks,” Willow rewarded her with a dazzling smile, “so shall we go?” Willow held her hand out to Tara.

“Ok,” Tara took Willow’s hand but still fretted, “are you sure this l-looks ok?” She had agonised over her choice of outfit, the lilac top was slightly figure hugging and she had matched it with a fawn skirt which was the shortest she owned, even if it did still fall 6 inches below the knee. The effect had seemed potentially sexy in her mind but now she worried that she looked ridiculous.

“Tara,” Willow spoke forcefully, “you look beautiful,” Tara found that hard to believe but the sincerity in Willow’s eyes convinced her that she meant what she said, “you always do,” Willow continued, “so beautiful,” she added for extra emphasis. Very beautiful and desirable she continued to herself, in fact it was becoming difficult to remember why they were going out when all Willow wanted to do was stay in and explore that beauty at length in the privacy of Tara’s room.

Tara’s blush had turned to deep scarlet by the time Willow had finished, she just was not used to compliments of any kind and she was even more surprised at the certainty that Willow meant every word. “W-willow, you don’t have to say..”

“I know, but it’s the truth,” Willow tugged on Tara’s hand, anxious to head out before she lost control, “let’s go paint the town red.”

“Ok,” Tara agreed, suddenly desperate for some fresh air to clear her mind.

…………………………………………….

Tara was in heaven, the restaurant was not too formal or stuffy as she had feared, it was comfortable and friendly and she didn’t feel out of place at all. The interior was softly lit and thanks to the creative use of pillars, plants and object d’art, each table was at least semi-secluded affording the diners a degree of privacy. Willow clearly had been here several times before as she appeared to know the waiter who was working their table and had not even bothered to consult her menu before ordering. It was like something from a dream, Willow was being especially attentive and had clearly decided that for tonight at least she would take the lead, holding doors open for Tara, pulling out her chair and taking every opportunity to compliment her on the way she looked. For the first time that she could remember Tara felt special or at least felt that she was special in the eyes of the one person who’s opinion counted.

“Penny for your thoughts?” Willow interrupted Tara’s reverie.

“Oh, n-nothing much,” Tara smiled, “happy thoughts, it’s so perfect here,” you make it perfect Tara added in her mind.

“Glad you like,” Willow returned the smile, “only the best for my girl.”

Tara felt a thrill as Willow said the words, she was Willow’s girl, she could not think of anything she would rather be and offered a silent prayer of thanks to whomever had seen fit to bring them together.

“So should I ask for a dessert menu or are you saving space for a super size popcorn?”

“No d-dessert thank you,” Tara didn’t think she could eat another bite, not that she had eaten much at all, particularly compared to the mountain of food willow had made disappear in what seemed to be mere seconds. “I think I might give the p-popcorn a miss too.”

“Oh no you don’t,” Willow exclaimed in mock horror, “movies without popcorn is against California state law.”

“Really,” Tara played along, “so could I g-go to jail?”

“Totally,” Willow laughed, “ten years with no parole at the Willow penitentiary.”

“That sounds ok,” Tara’s laughter mixed with Willow’s, “if you are the w-warden you can arrest me now.”

Willow was enjoying herself more than she had thought possible, the ease and comfort she felt with Tara made this the best date she could ever remember, she was enjoying the fact that Tara seemed to be gradually coming out of her shell and relaxing more in her company. The effort of keeping her hands and eyes to herself was however proving difficult, Tara looked far more delicious than anything on the menu and she could not wait to get to the end of the evening when they would be alone again. There had been some hand holding and a brief kiss on the walk over to the restaurant but they both felt inhibited about expressing their feelings in public. Willow probably more so than Tara as this was her hometown and although she was not ashamed of her new relationship she did not want anyone she knew to find out until she was ready to tell them.

“So no dessert, I might as well get the check now so we can take our time heading to the movie theatre.”

“Sure,” this was the part Tara was worrying about, “ so how are we going to w-work this? I mean who p-pays for what?”

“I got it,” Willow rushed to re-assure Tara, “I asked you out on a date so it’s on me tonight.” Willow had not forgotten that money was an issue for Tara and she did not want that to be a problem tonight.

“Ok,” Tara began hesitantly, “I could pay for the p-popcorn or?”

“No Tara,” Willow had resolve face now, “tonight you just let me take care of everything, just enjoy yourself.”

“Willow, that’s t-too much,” Tara shook her head, “I can’t let you pay for it all.”

“Please Tara,” Willow reached across the table and took Tara’s hand in hers, “I want to do this and believe me I can afford to. My parents might not be around much but they are pretty darn generous with the allowance, I have to spend it on something and I choose you.”

“I just feel…,” what did she feel? “It’s like I am taking advantage of you.” Tara could not help feeling a little uncomfortable although she knew she could barely afford to offer to pay her share.

“Well,” Willow began and arched her eyebrow meaningfully at Tara, “if you let me take advantage of you later then we are even ok?” Willow tried for a suggestive tone but she wasn’t too sure it came out right.

“Deal,” Tara laughed, “you d-didn’t need to buy me dinner first though.” Willow’s attempt at a leer was so comical that she had managed to banish the awkwardness Tara felt. If Willow wanted to pay for the date then she would just have to figure out another way to re-pay her, she might even enjoy it.

“Ok, that’s settled,” Willow waved to the waiter to attract his attention, “now let’s settle up here so we can get to the popcorny goodness.”

…………………………………………………………………………

Walking back towards her dorm Tara felt like she was floating on air, tonight had been her first experience of a real date and it was everything she could have wished for. Willow had planned things well, the restaurant had been divine and she had showered Tara with attention and affection and then the movie, whilst a real tearjerker, had been wonderful too. Now they were walking back home, Willow’s hand in hers, talking and looking at the beautiful California night sky. Tara had not realised just what a sucker for old-fashioned romance she was but right now she felt just like she was starring in some romance movie of the week on HBO.

“So you really liked the movie?” Willow asked again, anxious for re-assurance that her choice had been a good one.

“It was lovely Willow,” Tara confirmed, “but so s-sad.”

Willow had worried about that, the movie was a favourite of hers and she had been delighted when she had seen that it was part of a Whoopi Goldberg season at the local theatre. It was only after buying tickets for the film, “Boys on the Side”, that she began to worry what sort of statement she was making to Tara by taking her to a movie with a lesbian as it’s central character. Would it come across as though she were implying Tara would not want to see a movie without gay characters? Was she guilty of stereotyping? She need not have worried, the film was as beautiful as she had remembered and Tara had clearly loved it even if they had both been bawling by the end.

“So here I am, walking you home,” Willow said in a voice heavy with meaning.

“Yes,” Tara agreed, “I n-noticed that.” Tara sensed Willow was fishing for more than that but she wanted to hear Willow say it.

“So I was wondering, when we get there am I going to be invited in for coffee?”

“Hmm,” Tara tried to look serious, “I don’t actually have a c-coffee machine, sorry Willow.”

“I forgot that, in films its always coffee, in all the films I have seen anyway.”

“I have juice,” Tara offered, “I don’t know if that’s r-romantic enough but I could invite you in for juice.”

“Juice works,” Willow smiled, she knew that Tara was teasing her a little but she didn’t mind at all. “Of course, you could just make me say goodbye to you at the door, that happens too.”

“I wouldn’t do that,” Tara shook her head, still mock serious, “we made a d-deal at the restaurant remember?”

“I was joking,” Willow laughed, “well kind of joking anyway,” she corrected, “I would like to take advantage but I am not going to hold you to it.”

“Oh,” Tara feigned disappointment, “and I was sort of hoping you would.”

“Are you teasing me Tara MaClay?” Willow asked with a mock pout.

“A little,” Tara confirmed with a smile, “its just so funny h-how you keep avoiding what you want to say.”

“I don’t think I am avoidy,” Willow protested, “what is it you think I want to say Tara?”

“Oh,” Tara felt a slightly mischievous smile forming as she dared to be bold, “I think you want to ask to s-stay again, for the night.”

“That’s what you think?”

“Yes,” Tara nodded, “and of course you c-can stay so if you would only ask me then I can say yes and you won’t have to worry about it anymore.”

“You think you have me all worked out,” Willow laughed, “and you do. So can I stay tonight Tara?”

“Finally,” Tara rolled her eyes in mock exasperation, “yes Willow, I would l-like that very much.”

Clasping Tara’s hand tighter Willow quickened her pace, “Ok so why are we dawdling then? Willow’s steps quickened to a run and as Tara matched her stride they hurried, laughing, on towards Tara’s room.

………………………………………………………………….

Willow collapsed breathlessly onto Tara’s bed as the other girl slipped out of the room to use the bathroom. They had run most of the way here and then as soon as the door had closed behind them they had let their enthusiasm take over and lost themselves in a deep and passionate kiss, so passionate that Willow’s head was now spinning as she struggled to suck air into her lungs. The night had been wonderful so far and it was not quite over yet but Willow was not really certain what was about to happen, there had been a lot of teasing and she was in no doubt about the extent of her own desire for Tara but still she wanted to take things slowly, this was not something to be rushed.

Tara stood in front of the mirrors in the dorm bathrooms and splashed a little cold water on her flushed face. The bathroom excuse had been a ruse to buy her a little time to clear her head, the intoxicating effect of the romantic night out followed by the unrestrained passion of that kiss had almost blown away her last shred of control. It was possible that if she had not left when she did she might have thrown caution to the wind and started undressing Willow on the spot and she was not certain that either of them was ready for such a commitment. Of course to a lot of people her age that level of intimacy no longer signified commitment of any kind but Tara simply was not made that way, if she was going to be fully intimate with anyone it would be a sign that she had given her heart totally and felt that her feelings were returned, until then she had to resist desires no matter how hard that might be. Feeling slightly more in control of herself she dried off her face and then hurried back to the beautiful girl waiting on her bed.

“Hey you,” Willow greeted Tara as she walked through the door, “how about some mood music?”

“Ok,” Tara agreed and turned to the stereo to slip on something soft and romantic to match the tone of the evening. “Did you want to get changed now?”

“Tara!” Willow feigned shock, “are you trying to get me into bed?”

“N-no,” Tara hurriedly exclaimed, “I just thought maybe you w-wanted to get comfortable.”

“Oh I do,” Willow said archly, “I intend getting very comfortable.”

As the music began Tara turned to her dresser and slipped out a sorts and t-shirt set for Willow to wear, “I guess you d-didn’t bring anything with you,” she explained as she handed the items over.

“You guessed right, I thought about it but it seemed a bit presumptuous.”

“It would be ok,” Tara smiled shyly, “you c-could keep a few things here if you wanted to.”

“Wow,” Willow was delighted at the offer, “that would be amazing but you wouldn’t think I was being too fast, keeping things here?”

“No, I think it m-makes sense.”

“Lots of sense,” Willow agreed as she stood up and began to slip off her jeans and change.

Tara whirled around and looked at anything but the sight at the foot of her bed, she had caught a glimpse of skin as Willow had begun to undress and hadn’t known what to do with herself. It was silly to be so shy but she just didn’t feel she ought to be looking, even if Willow had made it clear by starting to undress in front of her that she was not concerned. Tara picked up her own nightwear and keeping her back to Willow she began to undress, careful not to expose too much skin as she slipped out of one thing and into another.

Willow could not believe how cute Tara was, the way her eyes had widened in surprise before she had turned to avert her gaze was so sweet and she could see from the tips of Tara’s ears that she was blushing again. Sleepovers with Buffy had made Willow somewhat immune to the embarrassment of changing in front of others although now she thought about it this was a rather different situation. Curiosity got the better of Willow and she found herself peeping as Tara changed, the hints of soft white skin briefly exposed were enough to send Willow’s mind into overdrive. Down girl, she reminded herself, it was too soon for things to go further than the kissing and holding they had allowed themselves so far and it would do no good to let herself get too worked up.

Tara turned to face Willow again and forced herself to remain calm as with a smile Willow turned down the covers on the bed.

“Come here,” Willow breathed softly and opened her arms, “it’s way past your bedtime.”

Tara moved forward into Willow’s embrace and exchanging a quick kiss the girls clambered onto the bed and under the covers. The feel of Willow’s arms around her was followed again by the touch of the other girls lips on her own and Tara allowed herself to sink into the kiss. The kiss intensified and again Tara found herself losing control of her thoughts and emotions and even her hands as they began to roam across the figure alongside her, she was dimly aware that Willow was doing some exploring of her own but she was too lost in the moment to protest even if she had wanted to.

Willow could feel herself on the brink of losing control, she was filled with desire for Tara and the exploring of her hands had confirmed that she was desperate to touch the skin concealed beneath the soft fabric of Tara’s night clothes. The kissing and caressing had continued for some time and slowly but surely Willow could feel it was leading to a place she was not quite ready to go, she doubted Tara was ready either but it was hard to talk about these things with your lips locked together. With a near superhuman effort Willow pulled free from the embrace and gave voice to her concerns, concerns raised by hands, hers and Tara’s, hands in new places.

“Tara, I want you,” she breathed, “I want you so much but I think tonight is too soon.”

Tara heard Willow’s words through the haze of her own desire and knew she wanted to wait too, no matter how much her body was trying to convince her to go all the way now it was not what she wanted in her heart, not yet. “Willow, I w-want you too but we should wait.”

“You don’t mind?” Willow needed to know.

“No,” Tara confirmed, “I wanted to w-wait too but it’s so hard to remember that with the kissing and t-touching.”

“Very hard,” Willow agreed.

“Willow?”

“What is it?”

“Will you just h-hold me?”

“Yes,” Willow smiled at Tara, “that I can do all night if you want me too.”

“I w-want you to.” Tara confirmed as she curled into Willow’s embrace.

_________________
TARA: Breakfast will make all things better.
WILLOW: Ooh, pancakes could go in bellies.

Bargaining


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 8:57 am 
Offline
30. Sweaty and Kinda Gay
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:17 am
Posts: 5210
Location: Oregon
Wow wonderful update. Everything; with the date and the sleeping over was so romantic.


xoxo
Emms

_________________
G Wing


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 126 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

W/T Love 24/7 since July 2000
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group