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: Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:47 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
Disclaimer This story utilises the intellectual copyright of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy however the words remain (mostly) mine. This is a story for the Kitten Board only.

Background The following takes place during the episode New Moon Rising.

Feedback Please

Rating To my own surprise I think this manages to hit NC17 levels or whatever the top rating is. Please read with caution.

Author's Note This particular chapter was by far the most difficult to write and went through so much editing that if this was a DVD there would need to be a whole extra disk for deleted scenes. I don't actually like writing too much of what is shown on screen during any given episode but in this case it was unaviodable as this is a Willow and Tara centred episode of the show. That said, I want to explain up front that I have not gone into too much detail about the events during the episode and this chapter is primarily focused on what happens after Tara blows out the candle. I apologise if anyone is dissapointed by what is not included here but there are a couple more chapters to go so some things have been omitted for use later on. Sorry for the rambling and now, ahem, on with the smut.


Between The Lines


Chapter Twelve – Extra Flamey


Tara ran blindly through the streets of Sunnydale, not knowing or caring if anyone saw her or noticed the tears that she was unable to hold at bay. In seconds her world had collapsed around her and now she could focus only on one tiny goal, she had to get to her room, escape from sight and disappear from the world that seemed to mock her so cruelly. Reaching the grounds of UC Sunnydale she missed a step in her haste and stumbled forward, a young man hurried over to help her to her feet but she was already standing and brushing aside his concern she continued her headlong flight to the safety of her room. Dimly Tara was aware that she had been rude to her would be helper but for all of her usual good manners she could not even begin to care about something so trivial right now.

Pounding along the corridor she finally saw her destination before her and with a last burst of speed she was at the door and then through it, slamming it shut behind her as she reached the place where finally she could let the pent up feelings flood out. The energy that had carried her at a breakneck run all the way from Giles apartment left her the moment the door closed, suddenly weak she slumped to the ground, her back against the door. Bereft of the purpose her frantic flight to her sanctuary had given her she was no longer able to maintain any defence against the feelings that raged within, the tears that had streamed silently as she ran became a torrent and she gave voice to her despair, shuddering and sobbing as she felt the pain of all that she had lost when Willow had spoken that name.

The sobbing continued for what could have been moments or hours for all that Tara was aware of the passage of time, eventually though she felt her emotions draining as she reached that state she knew all too well from her childhood, the point where no matter how much it hurts you just can’t cry anymore. The flat empty feeling that replaced the storm of emotion that had raged within allowed Tara to finally start to think about what had happened, to try to at least figure out how she was going to get through this without losing her mind. The despair had taken her completely and so swiftly that she had not managed a single coherent thought from the moment she had fled Giles apartment, desperate not to break down in front of Willow and her friends.

Aware of a terrible thirst now that the weeping had passed Tara forced herself to get up and retrieve a bottle of water from the tiny fridge in the corner of her room. The water was cool and eased the burning in her throat as she stood gazing into space, her eyes not quite focusing as she struggled with the desire to withdraw totally from the world of conscious thought. Finally snapping out of her trance state she shifted her gaze and her eyes instantly fell on Willow’s wash things, the redhead having decided to keep spares of everything in Tara’s room to avoid the need to pack a bag whenever she stayed the night. Tara recoiled from the sight and the sharp pain of the memories it now brought and with the water bottle still clutched in her hand she retreated to the bed, pausing to draw the curtains and shut out the harsh light of day. Cocooned in the darkness she sat on the bed and hugged her knees to her chest as she began the painful process of thinking through the events of the day.

The moment the identity of the unexpected caller at Giles apartment had been revealed Tara had felt the bottom falling from out of her world, the sudden dread certainty that this was the end of all of her dreams for the future with Willow. In truth Tara had no dreams of the future that didn’t involve Willow and so in many respects it felt as if her life had ended in that moment, part of her hated how melodramatic that sounded but when she tried to imagine a life without her angel she saw no life at all. If only there were some hope that she could cling to, some chance that Willow would still be hers, then maybe she could fight back the wave of darkness that threatened to swallow her. Turning onto her side and facing the wall she searched her heart for some sign that all was not yet lost, something she could believe in.

No matter how strong her relationship with Willow might seem she had always known in the back of her mind that there were issues to be dealt with, problems that might harm or ultimately break the bond between them. Chief amongst these had been the potential return of Willow’s lost love, Oz, the High School sweetheart whose sudden departure had so devastated Willow. The relationship had not died a natural death and it was clear that his return could only signal that he now wanted to pick up where they had left off, presumably the problems that had driven them apart had been dealt with and he was free to offer Willow the love she deserved. Tara understood that much, she could not imagine anyone who would not want to be with Willow if they had a chance and Oz obviously would believe that he did, so far as the world knew Willow had not dated anyone since he had left.

The one thing that was uncertain was whether Willow would also want to return to being the person she had been with Oz, not that Tara found much comfort in that thought as her insecurity would not allow her to believe that she could compete with Willow’s old flame. The few details she knew of the break-up confirmed that he had been the one to do the leaving and so why would Willow not still want him back? Tara knew also that it was what Willow’s friends would expect, they had all been close to Oz and believed that he was meant to be with Willow, how could that not affect the outcome? Willow had shown again and again that she wanted the approval of her friends above anything else, she had struggled with her inability to come out to them when Oz was out of the picture, now he was back surely she would follow the path of least resistance and do what was expected of her.

The glimmer of hope Tara sought emerged even as she had almost resigned herself to the inevitability of Willow’s decision, when finally she abandoned logic and what she thought she knew and simply listened to her heart. Tara had long believed in the idea of soul mates and she had known from the first that this was what she had found with Willow, if she was right then Willow must feel it too. She also recalled the times she had already doubted her love, on each occasion Willow had surprised her, had more than proved the depth of her feelings. Now her heart told her that she was wrong to give up so easily, that she was betraying the love that she felt and had received by so meekly accepting what she believed to be inevitable. Unbidden she saw again images of herself with Willow in this room, the words spoken, the look in Willow’s eyes that told her all she needed to know, the touch of her lovers hand, all of these things and more. She could not deny Willow’s love because she had felt it and that had to mean there was still reason to hope.

The realisation that she still had something to hope for gave Tara the strength to fight back against her personal demons, to suffer the pain of this moment and trust in the love that she felt in her heart was returned by the girl of her dreams. Finally she felt calm enough to be able to function and return to the world of the living, she only had to figure out now what she should do although inside she already knew. Her heart had told her to trust and that was what she would do, Willow needed time to deal with the return of Oz and to figure out what she wanted, Tara had to give her space and wait for Willow to come to her.

With her decision made Tara realised with a stab of guilt that she had not truly considered how hard this must be for Willow, she believed that Willow felt deeply both for her and for Oz and therefore whatever decision she made must bring her pain.
Ignoring her own pain and anguish she felt her heart ache again but this time for the suffering that she knew her angel must endure, Willow was gentle by nature and she must be suffering terribly knowing that whatever she did she was going to end up hurting someone she loved. Tara reached for her sketch pad, safe in the knowledge that the work always took her away from herself and helped to pass the time, her mind however remained distracted, wondering how Willow was and what she was doing.

…………………………………………………………………………

Willow sat on the bed in her dorm room, her face a picture of perfect misery, and waited for night to fall. The day had passed at a crawl as she waited to speak with Oz and tried to make some sort of sense out of what was happening to her, to find a way to shut out the pain that this ghost of her past had caused. No matter where Willow’s thoughts turned she saw pain and she knew that her own indecision was to blame, for what had happened and was about to happen.

In the past few weeks she had found happiness and begun to move on with her life, had felt she was reaching a point where she could forget her past and finally let go of the feelings she had once had for her first love. The sight of Oz this morning had thrown her into a state of confusion and now she could not seem to find her way out of this mess she had made. The meaning behind Oz’s return was clear and yet she had been anything but clear, either with her friends, with Oz or most importantly with the woman she loved.

Willow never wanted to cause anyone pain, now she knew she would have to do just that and to make matters worse she did not know who she was going to hurt. Correcting that thought she reminded herself she had already managed to hurt one person more than she had ever dreamed she could. Over the past few weeks she had known that Tara had been occasionally upset over her reluctance to reveal their relationship to her friends but her own desire to conform and live up to peoples expectations of her had stayed her tongue. Now that was coming back to haunt her in the worst possible way. If she had been open with her friends they would have understood the situation and she perhaps could have acted immediately to stop events getting out of her control instead of standing there in shock, failing to act even as she saw the anguish in Tara’s beautiful blue eyes.

Now she was trapped in a web of her own making, Oz was coming to see her and would have no reason to believe she would not want to at least try and get back what they had lost. She knew that she needed to be honest about her feelings and let Oz know that she had moved on and yet she could not begin to imagine how she was going to do this. The reaction of her friends to Oz’s return was pretty obvious, they figured that this was what she wanted and they would be expecting to hear that she was back together with her old flame. How could she tell Oz that she no longer wanted him and what did she say to her friends? Hey, I know you all wanted me to get back together with Oz but guess what, gay now.

With a heavy sigh Willow moved from the bed to her desk and looked again at the picture she had taken of Tara when they had gone bowling with Xander and Anya. The light in those beautiful blue eyes had dimmed this morning, as she had stood motionless, unable to offer Tara the slightest comfort or indication that everything would be ok. Willow knew Tara was probably alone in her dorm now, wondering what the return of Oz would mean for their relationship. She wanted to run to Tara now and re-assure her but how could she when she had yet to speak to Oz, to hear what he had to say. Willow would probably only make things worse if she gave in to that impulse and anyway, Oz might arrive at any minute and this was a conversation she could not run away from.

Willow again tried to decide what she was going to say but it was no use, she did not even know what she wanted so how could she explain. She had moved on and she did not want to get back together with Oz but part of her still wanted him in her life, as a friend if nothing else. The various scenarios she considered ended one of two ways, either she gave up Tara or she would lose Oz again and quite possibly her friends with him. Willow desperately wanted to avoid any confrontations, she was terrified of losing all that she had gained since meeting Buffy all those years ago, but equally the thought of losing Tara was unbearable.

Reflecting on the last few weeks Willow could not ignore her feelings, she had found greater happiness with Tara than she had ever known. Was it possible that she could have it all? Could she keep conform to what was expected of her and take Oz back and still keep Tara as a friend? The thought flashed briefly through her mind but she dismissed it almost instantly, it would be a lie and she would be denying who she was to herself as much as to the people around her. Tara might settle for just friends but it would be painful for both of them and ultimately the pain would drive them apart and that was not something Willow could accept.

The truth was that she had changed and she had to face the fact that she did not want to be just friends any more than Tara did. To begin with she had suspected that her feelings for Tara were physical as well as emotional but there had always been the doubt that maybe it was just fantasy and the reality would not be what she wanted at all. The nights they had shared since the nether realms spell had dispelled that doubt forever, the reality of a physical relationship with Tara not only lived up to her fantasy but surpassed it like she could not believe. The point of no return had been reached already and no matter what she chose to tell the outside world she could not deny to herself that she was no longer sexually interested in men now that she had known the touch of another woman.

So that was it, she could consider this from every angle, worry about who was going to get hurt or what people might think of her but she could not deny the truth, she was gay and she wanted to be with Tara. With that fact settled she steeled herself for the arrival of Oz and the inevitable pain of that meeting, she would have to be honest and hope that he would not be too hurt that their time had passed. Just then she heard a knock at the door.

…………………………………………………………..

Tara had fled back to her room for the second day in succession and again found herself at the point where she wanted to just give in to the despair inside her as she finally accepted all hope was gone. The last 24 hours had been torture almost beyond her endurance but she had somehow held to her belief that there was still a chance she would not lose Willow if she just had faith. This morning she had finally had to know one way or another if she was deluding herself, Willow would have had time to talk to Oz and must by now know what she wanted to do. Steeling herself for the ordeal she had gone to Willow’s room and as with yesterday the sight of Oz had brought her carefully constructed world crashing down around her. Oz was in Willow’s room and the implication was clear, he must have spent the night and that meant the decision was made.

The tears had come again as she accepted that she would never share another night with Willow, never know her touch again or feel those soft lips against hers. She also cried for the betrayal, she had known Willow might choose Oz but she had thought that at least she would come to tell her things were over before taking Oz back into her bed. The pain inside threatened to tear her apart but with a great effort she forced herself to dry her eyes and concentrate on getting ready for her classes, life had to go on and she could not afford to miss another day of school. Hopefully when the day was done she would have a chance to talk to Willow and maybe at least there would be a chance to remain friends, if she could bear to be so close and yet be denied what her heart desired.

Surprised at the soft knock on her door Tara hurriedly checked that the signs of her tears had been successfully covered before moving to see who was there, let it be Willow she silently prayed but still the sight of her angel on the threshold took her by surprise.

“Hi.” Willow broke the silence.

“Hi.” Tara could tell from Willow’s body language that she was nervous, another sign surely that this was the end, why be nervous unless she was here to deliver bad news? Willow seemed to be waiting for some sign so Tara stood back to allow her into the room, closing the door softly Tara looked expectantly at Willow, not sure if she wanted to know the truth or if she preferred the agony of not knowing.

“I can only stay for a minute, I have class.” Willow searched Tara’s eyes for some sign of how she was feeling, she had known that finding Oz in her room would have hurt but there seemed to almost be a resigned look on Tara’s face, an acceptance of her fate.

“Me too, I-I-I have class too.” Tara could not help thinking Willow had chosen the moment well, with class to go to she could say what she had to say and then get out without any awkward conversation.

“I just want you to know that what you saw this morning, it wasn’t..” Willow could not figure out what Tara was thinking but she had to let her know the truth, that she would never have given herself to Oz after all they had come to mean to one another.

“No, it’s okay. I-I always knew that if he came back..”

“We were just talking. Nothing happened.” Willow interrupted; sure that Tara had missed her point.

“Oh. Really?” Tara felt her heart leap momentarily, a tiny sign of life as she dared to feel hope again.

“But, you know, it was intense. Just talking. We have a lot to to talk about.” Willow felt her frustration building again as she tried to explain the confusion she felt inside. “I Kinda feel like my head’s gonna explode.”

Remembering her decision, to let Willow find her own way through this, Tara had to make it clear that she would not push, “Whatever, you know, happens…I’ll still be here. I’ll still be your friend.”

“Of course we’ll be friends! That’s not even a question.”

“But I’m saying, I know what Oz means to you.” Tara could not hide her own distress at the pain in Willow’s voice, she wanted to hold her love but she couldn’t move, afraid of being misunderstood.

“How can you, when I’m not even sure? I mean, I know what he meant to me but he left, and …everything changed. I changed, and..then we” Willow’s voice became choked as she fought back the tears that threatened to betray her.

“What?” Tara felt the tiny flame of hope flare stronger at Willow’s words.

The first tear trickled down Willow’s cheek as the emotion overwhelmed her, “I don’t know. I just, life was starting to get so good again and,” Willow moved almost unconsciously closer to Tara, “you’re a big part of that.” The tears began to fall in earnest now as the pain and confusion overwhelmed her. “And here comes the thing I wanted most of all, and…I don’t know what to do, I…I wanna know, but I don’t.”

Tara could not bear to see the pain and anguish on Willow’s face and without even thinking she reached out to wipe away the tears that fell, “Do what makes you…h-h-happy.”

Willow bridged the final gap between herself and Tara and wrapped her arms around the woman she loved, the tears flowing freely as she fought to control the pain inside. “How can I be happy?” She sobbed, “I can’t lose you Tara but whatever I do I am going to hurt someone,” Willow sobbed harder as she continued, “I don’t want to hurt anyone, please tell me what to do?”

“Willow, I am s-sorry,” Tara stroked Willow’s hair, offering what comfort she could. “You have to d-decide this for yourself, I will be here for you whatever,” Tara felt her own tears sting her eyes, “whatever you decide.”

Suddenly desperate for more contact, for comfort and to make the pain stop if only for a moment, Willow tilted her face and caught Tara’s lips in a kiss. The blonde was momentarily surprised but swiftly recognised the need in willow and returned the kiss passionately, tightening her arms around the slender redheads shoulders as they clung together seeking relief from the pain in the sanctuary of their love. Knowing it was unfair on either of them but unable to stop herself, Willow began to explore Tara’s body through the cover of her clothes, her need and desire overwhelming rational thought even as she knew there was no time for this. Equally aroused Tara responded to Willow’s touch and began her own exploration as the kiss deepened and became yet more passionate, desperate now for contact herself.

Finally they broke apart, breathing heavily both from arousal and from the emotions that still tortured them. Tara had worked her hands inside Willow’s sweater during the kiss, now as they separated she slipped it from Willow’s shoulders and allowed it to fall to the floor. Willow recognised the desire in Tara’s eyes but felt a cold shiver at the thought of what she was doing, she still had not resolved things one way or another and here she was taking advantage of Tara. Painfully aware of how much she was hurting Tara she backed away further and spoke before it was too late, “I still have to get to class.

“S-sorry,” confusion and pain marred Tara’s beautiful face as she flushed with embarrassment, “I thought..”

“No, don’t be sorry, I just,” Willow felt the guilt wash through her, she had led Tara on and now Tara was apologising just for reacting, “I need to make this right, I can’t be with you until,” Willow paused searching for the words to explain, “until I am free.”

“I understand,” Tara’s head dropped as she tried to hide her pain behind the curtain of her hair.

“Tara, please don’t think I don’t want you, I do but how can I,” Willow felt the tears returning, “how can I be with you when I still can’t tell Oz, god he is out there right now thinking we are getting back together. I am not being fair to either of you.”

“Willow,” Tara reacted to the tears, unable to think of herself, “whatever you n-need I am here.”

“I need to know,” Willow sobbed, “I can’t do this but I have to, all I am doing is hurting you, I am so sorry Tara.”

“Willow?” Tara reached out to brush away the tears again but Willow again backed away from her touch.

“I am sorry, I have to go,” Willow backed to the door and opened it as Tara stood motionless in the centre of the room, “I promise, I will come back to you, I just need,” Willow shook her head in confusion, “I have to fix this.”

Tara felt her heart shatter as the door closed on the fleeing redhead, she had never felt the sting of rejection like this before and she sank to the floor as she felt the grief wash through her. Perhaps it was only the confusion, she could understand the torment Willow was suffering but she had never before known Willow to back away from her touch. Willow spoke about making a decision and yet her actions made it seem the decision was already made. Tara could feel herself wanting to give in to her sadness, to let the tears come and claim her again but she forced herself to resist, she had classes too and she had to try and get through his day no matter how much her heart was breaking.

Shifting on the floor where she sat she felt her hand brush against something soft and realised it was Willow’s sweater. Standing she slipped the sweater over her own shoulders, somehow comforted to have something else of Willow’s so close, like the red hair entwined in her bracelet from so long ago. Wiping her eyes for the second time already that morning she faced the mirror and, satisfied with her inspection, she headed out to face the day.
………………………………………………………………………..

Tara gazed out of the window as she sat in the darkness of her room, her eyes not really focusing as she withdrew into her thoughts. The constant emotional strain of the last couple of days had finally drained her to the point where she felt comfortably numb. The hope that had flickered inside her had all but died as day turned to night and still Willow did not come to her, for all of the promises made she still believed that when forced to make a choice Willow would stay with Oz, particularly now that it was clear how much he needed her to control the rage inside him.

When she had told Willow about the way Oz had changed in front of her she had clearly seen the concern in Willow’s eyes but who had it been for? Willow had asked if she was all right but had not pushed that hard before running off to find Buffy and rescue Oz. It was irrational to feel snubbed in that moment, Oz was in trouble and of course Willow should do what she could to help but still, Tara felt that somehow she had lost Willow in that moment if she had ever been hers to lose.

Now she sat here and waited for what she did not know, she only knew that she had neither the energy nor the desire to move. The silence was comforting, like a blanket and so the knock at the door when it came was almost a shock, she had long since giving up hoping that Willow would come. Standing to open the door she reminded herself that who else could it be? If, as she feared, this was the end then she would make no fuss, she would accept Willow’s decision and offer her support and friendship because she could do nothing else, whether it was reciprocated or not she loved her angel and could never cause her pain. Opening the door she felt her heart skip a beat as it always did when Willow was so close.

“No candles?” Willow smiled. “Well, I brought one. It’s extra flamey.” Willow stepped into the room and gave the candle to Tara before slipping the door closed behind her. “Tara, I have to tell you..”

“No, I-I understand.” Tara interrupted, not wanting to hear the words now the moment was here, “you have to be with the person you l-love.”

“I am.” Willow’s smile grew wider.

Tara registered the words with a sense of shock, she had given up hope and yet now surely Willow was trying to tell her it was all going to be okay. “You mean..” Tara asked, unable to finish the sentence in case somehow this was a cruel misunderstanding.

“I mean.” Willow recognised the surprise in Tara’s face, how badly had she hurt her love that she would feel surprised to be wanted. “Okay?”

“Oh yes.” Tara’s heart soared at Willow’s words.

“I feel really horrible about everything I put you through and I am gonna make it up to you.” Willow’s smile turned seductive, “Starting right now.

“Right now?” Tara felt her own smile grow wider at the meaning implicit in those words, as Willow nodded in confirmation she leaned in and blew out the candle, the only light she needed was standing right in front of her.

Willow slipped her arms around Tara and pulled her in close for a kiss, a kiss that she had craved since the moment she had left so abruptly that morning. Tara’s soft warm lips met hers and Willow poured all of her passion into the moment, trying to let Tara know just how much she wanted her now and for always.

Tara could feel her desire building as she slowly backed toward the bed, careful not to break the embrace as she steered her way towards a safe landing. Feeling the edge of the mattress press against her legs she slowly allowed herself to fall back, surprised as Willow initially went with her and then gently broke their embrace to stand over her.

“Willow?” Tara wondered at Willow’s hesitation at a time like this.

“Just looking,” Willow giggled, “you know I could look at you for days and never get bored.”

“Flatterer,” Tara giggled too, “you know you don’t n-need to sweet talk me now, you already got me.” Tara could not quite contain her curiosity and hoping not to break the mood she asked softly, “so why d-did you choose me?”

“Have you seen you?” Willow flashed her a smile.

“Willow?” Tara smiled at the compliment but still she wanted to know.

“I didn’t,” Willow thought for a second before continuing, “what I mean is, there was never a choice between you and Oz, it was always you Tara.”

“It was?” Tara was taken aback at the conviction in Willow’s voice.

“Yes,” Willow nodded, “it always will be you Tara, for as long as you want me I am yours.”

“Me too,” Tara answered happily, “I mean, I w-want you always too.”

“So now you know, you are my always.”

“Forever,” Tara added, finally certain of Willow’s love.

“So,” Willow arched an eyebrow as she looked down on Tara, “what am I going to do with all those clothes?”

“T-Take them off.”

“You want me to undress you baby?”

“Oh yes,” Tara nodded.

Smiling Willow held out her hands and helped Tara back to her feet, unable to resist leaning in for another kiss as Tara’s lips were inches away from her own. Sliding her hands inside Tara’s sweater she slid the material over Tara’s shoulders and allowed it to fall the floor, not once breaking the contact of their lips. With the sweater disposed of she turned her attention to Tara’s shirt and eased it up until finally she was forced to break the kiss to pull the garment over Tara’s head. Standing back as she lifted the shirt clear she was able to take a good look and her eyes widened at the sight of Tara’s breasts, barely restrained by the simple white bra she wore.

Catching Willow looking Tara could not resist commenting, “you see something you l-like?”

“Um,” Willow’s barely heard the question, mesmerised by the temptation before her, “I was ah, I mean, wow.”

“So is that a yes?”

“Big yes,” Willow nodded, “you look so..” The faraway look returned as Willow forgot she was speaking.

“You can t-touch if you want to,” Tara giggled, “I don’t mind the looking but I think touching might b-be better.”

“Wow, spicy talk.”

“I can t-try a little spicy talk now and again.”

Willow tentatively reached out, surprised by her own hesitation as this was not the first time but almost painfully aware that somehow this time it was special, with the last obstacle to their happiness finally gone. Determined to savour every moment she gently cupped Tara’s breasts through the material of the bra and began to slowly trace their outline with her thumbs, feeling the nipples grow harder as she first gently and then more firmly teased them. Willow was breathing heavily as she felt Tara respond to her touch, looking into Tara’s eyes she could see the arousal there and decided it was time to touch skin. Slowly she slipped her hand around to the clasp and released the bra, slipping it ever so slowly free from Tara’s shoulders before letting it fall to join the growing pile of clothes at their feet.

Tara was becoming increasingly aroused both by Willow’s touch and by the obvious delight Willow was taking in teasing her, aware also of the desire to take this slowly and appreciate every second of this night. The moment Willow had touched her she had felt that familiar spark of electricity that always accompanied the redhead’s touch. When Willow removed her bra and touched her naked breasts she felt that spark settle between her legs, her need and arousal growing to almost painful heights. Noticing that Willow still seemed transfixed by her breasts she broke the silence, enjoying the touch but anxious for more. “Willow, I still have c-clothes..”

“Oh,” Willow blinked as if in surprise, “I need to do something about that.” Slipping her hands down to Tara’s waist she made short work of the button and zip of her pants before easing them down Tara’s legs. Standing up again she looked at Tara standing there in just her panties and felt her knees go weak, taking a deep breath she again reached out to run her hands over the satiny smooth skin of the beautiful girl before her. “I think you need to undress me now.” She breathed huskily, looking deeply into blue eyes that were clouded with desire.

“My p-pleasure,” Tara whispered as she moved to help Willow remove her shirt, “I want you now Willow,” she spoke into Willow’s ear and was rewarded with a low moan from her love. With Willow’s shirt gone Tara turned her attention to the pale blue bra and within moments it too had been discarded, allowing Tara an opportunity to enjoy her turn looking at Willow. The slim figure before her was everything she could desire and now it was Tara who found herself transfixed as she took in every detail. Slowly she reached out to touch willow’s already erect nipples and was rewarded with another louder moan from the redhead’s lips.

Feeling the intensity of Tara’s gaze Willow blushed, still uncomfortable with her own figure compared to the beauty and feminine grace of Tara. “You don’t have to do that,” She whispered.

“Do what?” Tara asked in confusion.

“Look at me that way,” Willow’s voice dropped even lower so that Tara could barely hear her, “I know I am not beautiful like you, you don’t have to pretend, it’s okay.”

“Oh Willow,” Tara could not believe she had missed this. With her own insecurities she had never considered for a moment that Willow might lack confidence in her appearance, so far as Tara was concerned Willow was the most beautiful creature she had ever seen. “You really think that?”

“Well it’s true, I mean,” Willow sighed softly, “I am so skinny, no curves, not like you.”

“W-Willow,” Tara caught Willow’s eyes with her own and refused to let her go, “you are b-beautiful, everything about you,” Tara felt the emotion choke her voice, “you are perfect.”

“Oh Tara,” Willow flung her arms around Tara’s neck and pulled her into a tight embrace, “I do love you,” Willow brought her lips to Tara’s and stole a sweet kiss before parting once more. “So,” she arched her eyebrow again, “clothes?”

“Right,” Tara smiled, “t-too many.” Tara unfastened Willow’s skirt and allowed it to slide to the floor and then watched in wonder as Willow stepped free from the folds of the material. Willow’s long slender legs were breathtaking, certainly one of her most desirable points, Tara could not stop from staring as Willow stood exposed before her, only the briefest pair of panties keeping her from total nakedness. “Wow, you look..”

“Hot?” Willow asked hopefully.

“Oh yes,” Tara nodded.

“You too,” Willow smiled, “I think we need to take this over here,” she added as she took Tara’s hand and guided her back to the bed.

Tara did not trust herself to speak as Willow purposefully eased her down onto the bed and then positioned herself above her. With Willow pinning her arms to the bed she was powerless to prevent the kiss that Willow stole, not that she ever would have wanted to stop what was happening. Willow lay on top of her and deepened the kiss, moaning softly into her mouth as their tongues clashed, passion rising by the second. Tara felt her arousal reaching new heights as the sensation of Willow’s breasts rubbing against hers mixed with the heady effects of that passionate kiss threatened to take away all of her self control.

Willow was enjoying the kiss but she wanted to please Tara and she could tell from the blonde’s reactions that she was already highly aroused. Easing back from the kiss she looked briefly into Tara’s eyes before dipping her head again and placing a line of kisses down her face and further still onto her neck, slowly working her way down Tara’s body. Reaching Tara’s breasts she took one erect nipple into her mouth and began gently to suck and bite as she teased its twin between her thumb and forefinger and was instantly rewarded by a cry of sheer pleasure from Tara. Willow felt her own excitement building with every cry and moan that Tara made, she felt the electricity through her skin as her own breasts brushed against Tara’s naked body but for now she concentrated on Tara’s pleasure. Shifting the attention of her lips from one nipple to the other she felt Tara shift beneath her, hips starting to move, an indication that Tara wanted Willow’s attention somewhere else.

Still wanting to take things slow Willow ignored the obvious signs Tara was giving her that she was ready for more and instead she kissed her way back up Tara’s neck before stealing another deep kiss. Tara knew what Willow was doing and despite the urgency of her need she was enjoying the slow teasing approach, knowing that when the moment of release finally did come it would be all the more explosive for the waiting. Breaking the kiss Willow flashed Tara a quick grin before returning her attention to Tara’s now ultra sensitive nipples, slowly increasing the pressure of her fingers and teeth as Tara’s cries grew louder and more unrestrained. Feeling Tara’s legs part beneath her Willow finally relented, shifting to slide one leg between Tara’s thighs and then pressing her own thigh against the steady motion of Tara’s hips.

The teasing was finally becoming too much for Tara, she knew that Willow could happily play with her breasts all night, she was a breast gal, but she needed something more or she was going to explode. “W-Willow, I want..”

“You want?” Willow felt a thrill at the naked arousal in Tara’s voice, “What do you want baby?”

“You,” Tara mumbled, breathing erratically, “I w-want you, to touch me.”

“I am.” Willow teased.

“No, not like that, I n-need..” Tara groaned again as Willow’s thigh pressed harder against her, “need you there.”

“I know what you need,” Willow assured her, “and I did promise.” Willow slipped off Tara for a moment, the damp skin of her thigh evidence of the depths of Tara’s arousal, then swiftly she removed Tara’s panties before resuming her position above her beloved. “I am going to give you what you need baby, trust me.” Willow said softly before stealing one last kiss.

Once again Willow trailed kisses down Tara’s body but this time she paused only briefly when she reached her breasts before continuing her descent. Slipping one hand up the inside of Tara’s thigh she briefly touched her centre, feeling the heat and dampness that triggered another shiver of pleasure through her own body. Tara felt the brief contact and bucked against Willow’s hand even as the she withdrew it, eager to maintain the pressure where she needed it. Inhaling deeply, turned on more than she could ever remember just by the cent of her lover, Willow placed gentle kisses on Tara’s thighs, moving closer to her destination. Finally, Willow extended her tongue and took a first sweet taste of heaven from Tara and was rewarded with yet another moan of delight from her blonde goddess.

Tara shivered and moaned with pleasure as she felt Willow’s tongue pressing into her centre, exploring the sensitive core of her desire. Feeling Willow settle into a rhythm Tara instinctively began to move her hips in unison with her lovers touch, feeling the waves of pleasure build and intensify as Willow brought her ever closer. Shyness abandoned, Tara’s cries and moans grew louder, her whole body alive with sensation as Willow pushed her to greater and greater heights but held back from bringing her fully to the point of release.

The sweet taste of Tara on her tongue and the sound of Tara’s cries in her ears was becoming almost too much for Willow to bear, her own arousal scaling heights she could not imagine possible without the touch of another. Sensing that she could not keep Tara on the crest for much longer Willow reacted to the ever increasing movement of Tara’s hips by slowly sliding first one then another finger inside her lover, feeling another shiver of pleasure at the way Tara bucked as she entered her.

“Oh, oh Willow,” Tara’s eyes flew open as she felt Willow’s fingers enter her, the added sensation combined with the rhythm of Willow’s tongue to push her even further into a state of bliss.

Sliding her fingers in and out of Tara in time with the movements of her tongue Willow felt the contractions beginning that signalled Tara’s climax was coming. Lapping ever more hungrily at the sweet nectar of her love Willow thrust deeper and felt Tara tighten around her fingers, the cries increasing in volume as she bucked and shuddered in the throes of her climax.

“Willow, oh Willllooow,” Tara abandoned herself to ecstasy as wave upon wave of pleasure tore through her. “I love you, I love you, oh Willow.”

Gradually Willow felt the intensity of Tara’s convulsions decrease and slowly she eased the pressure of her fingers and tongue, aware of how sensitive Tara would feel once her climax passed. With a few last gentle kisses she withdrew and then lazily kissed her way back up Tara’s body, which had become limp as the effects of her climax had subsided.

“Hey baby,” Willow whispered as her face drew level with Tara’s, “was that what you needed?”

“Oh yes,” Tara smiled shyly, “you know it was,” she blushed faintly at the memory of her screams of her pleasure, “I think the whole C-Campus knows I just got what I needed.”

“Indeed,” Willow teased, “but hey don’t feel bad, you didn’t stutter once when you were screaming.”

“I didn’t?” Tara considered that for a moment, “that’s kinda c-cool but you know I don’t think your cure for stuttering is going to be acceptable in p-public.”

“I didn’t mean,” Willow laughed, “hey, are you teasing me?” Tara nodded. “You are full of surprises tonight, first with the spicy talk and now the teasing,” Willow looked around the room, feigning a search, “where o where did shy Tara go?”

“Willow quit it,” Tara laughed at Willow’s theatrics, “I am right here, waiting for you to k-kiss me again.”

Willow couldn’t think of anything she would rather be doing, Tara was full of good ideas tonight. Sinking back into Tara’s embrace she shared a long lingering kiss with her girlfriend that served to remind her of her own state of arousal, feeling the sparks from the contact of Tara’s lips she moaned and pressed her body closer to Tara’s, desperate for more contact.

“You n-need something sweetie?” Tara asked as she broke off the kiss, “something I can h-help you with?”

“Something only you can help with,” Willow stole another quick kiss, “if you want to?”

“I want to,” Tara smiled, “p-pretty much all the time.”

“Show me,” Willow asked huskily, turned on even more by the hungry look Tara gave her.

Tara shifted positions and slipped off the bed as Willow turned to lie on her back, she paused for a second, admiring the view of her angel before her, flame red hair spilling onto the pillows.

“Tara?”

“Sorry, you look so b-beautiful.”

“I really don’t,” Willow blushed at the compliment.

“But you do,” Tara insisted, “I mean it Willow, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.”

“But..”

“No,” Tara interrupted, “I look at you and I feel so lucky.”

“I am the lucky one.”

“Well, maybe the one about to g-get lucky,” Tara grinned as she rejoined Willow on the bed.

“Oh yes.”

Tara eased herself atop of Willow and reached out to gently brush a curl of red hair off her lovers face. Looking deeply into Willow’s eyes she felt a rush of love so overpowering that she felt tears of happiness forming in her eyes, this was everything she had ever dreamed of and right now she would show Willow just how much she wanted her. Leaning forward Tara gently pressed her lips to Willow’s and slowly sank into a deep kiss, her free hand trailing gently up and down the contours of Willow’s body as their tongues fought their own personal duel, shifting from one mouth to another as their passion grew.

Willow felt her heart rate increase again as Tara’s body pressed on top of her, the contact of Tara’s naked skin against hers enough to flood her body with desire. The gentle touch of Tara’s hand as it traced it’s way over her body was a delicious form of torture as she ached for a more intimate touch. Losing herself in the kiss she moaned against Tara’s mouth and pressed her body tightly against her girlfriend, feeling the need building within her.

Sensing that Willow needed more than kisses at this point, Tara brushed her fingertips lightly over one swollen nipple and then repeated the motion again as Willow moaned with pleasure. Tara shifted the attention of her lips from Willow’s mouth to those oh so sensitive nipples and began to bite and tease as the redhead’s moans grew louder. Willow’s reactions had an electrifying effect on Tara as she felt her own desire returning as strongly as before, the sensation of Willow’s body writhing beneath her driving her wild.

Willow was being driven to the brink of ecstasy by Tara’s touch, crying out her lovers name and burying her hands in the long mane of blonde hair that spilled across her stomach. Tara’s attentions were becoming more urgent, as though Tara herself was losing control and even as that thought occurred to Willow she felt Tara’s hand slide down across her belly to the tops of her thighs. The world exploded in a shower of stars as Willow felt Tara’s fingers ease her panties aside before gently stroking the swollen centre of her desire, she bucked her hips against that touch, long past the point where she needed Tara to be gentle.

Tara shivered with pleasure as she felt the slick sensation coat her fingers, Willow was more than ready for her and as she felt the redhead bucking and pushing against her she knew it was time. Swiftly she slid her body downwards until her face was level with Willow’s centre and then without pause she sucked the swollen nub between her lips, barely registering the scream of delight the action elicited from Willow. Tara entered Willow rhythmically with her fingers as the redhead screamed and moaned against her and almost immediately she felt the beginnings of Willow’s climax, the slender figure of her girlfriend shuddering as pleasure shot through her.

Willow had already been so worked up by making love to Tara that she had not needed much in the way of stimulation to lose control of herself, the final straw had been the touch of Tara’s lips and now she rode the waves of ecstasy that only Tara could offer her. The sensation might have lasted a second or a lifetime, Willow was far past the point where time had meaning, gradually though the pleasure subsided and as she opened her eyes it was to be greeted by blue eyes looking back at her with a shy smile.

“Tara, wow,” Willow managed to utter as the after effects left her feeling drained but deliciously numb. “That was..”

“Me too,” Tara interrupted, “I felt it.” Willow could only nod in agreement as words for once failed her. Tara wrapped her arms around Willow and pulled her into an embrace as they both lay there, savouring the afterglow.

Willow drifted in contentment for a while, happy in the arms of her love and spent for the time being at least. She had come to Tara tonight to make things right and she was fairly sure she had succeeded but finally she had to ask. Shifting again to look directly into Tara’s eyes she asked, “happy?”

“Blissfully,” Tara confirmed.

“Good,” Willow smiled, “I meant what I said before, about making it up to you. If there is anything..”

“No,” Tara interrupted, “I have everything I w-want right here, right now. I only ever wanted to be part of your world.”

“You are my world.” Willow recognised this was the last thing she needed to do to make things right forever with Tara, “I love you and I want to shout it from the rooftops, let everyone know I am the luckiest girl alive.”

“Oh Willow,” Tara felt tears of happiness sting her eyes at the words she had longed to hear.

“Tara, I promise, everything is going to be ok now.” Willow knew it was true even as she claimed the kiss that Tara offered as her reward.

_________________
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: Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:14 pm 
Offline
17. Mega-Witches
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Posts: 2538
Location: USA
Can I just say DIBS!!!

Hey RaspberryHats, this was a GREAT update and really seemed to me like it is probably exactly what happened in between the scenes. I always thought that in S4 when Tara ran into Oz wearing Willow's sweater that they had probably done it, hence Oz saying "She's all over you," but you know what? I like your way better. It would have been a little (or a lot) insensitive of Willow to be intimate with Tara in that way when it's pretty clear that everything between them was up in the air, and Willow wasn't quite that selfish at this point in the show.

So bravo - your update was awesome and also made me consider and readjust an assumption I had blithely made earlier about what had happened, and I like that. Looking forward to more!

_________________
Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT


Last edited by FineyMcFine on Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:22 pm 
Offline
17. Mega-Witches
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:04 pm
Posts: 2673
Location: Tucson, AZ
Oh whoa wow yay!!!
:applause
I looooove this story! Update sooon! :D

_________________
-Rose


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:11 pm 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:09 am
Posts: 471
Location: Shoalhaven,NSW, Australia
Mmmm...
Another lunchbreak made perfect by reading a great fic on the KB. I know I must be giving the impression that I log in to the KB every mealtime, but it's not true! I log in other times too .... (I know I'm pathetic... or possibly addicted) :blush

RH, once again, that was a great update. The unseen parts of NMR beautifully illustrated for us. You made palpable the grief and uncertainty that Tara was feeling; Willow's anguish at the hurt she was causing Tara and her pain at the hurt she was going to cause Oz; plus the guilt and conflict Willow felt at not already having made known her relationship with Tara and having to do so now under even more pressure to conform to the Scoobies' expectations.

But.... I dunno, I guess I expected more letting out of the hurt and pain following Willow's promise to 'make it up to' Tara. Perhaps they had to reconnect physically first? Is that how you see it?

Anyway, I enjoyed it very much, and am looking forward to the next update with eagerness. Thank you. :flower
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 Nov 22, 2005 8:10 pm 
Offline
19. Yummy Face

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:40 pm
Posts: 2934
Location: Raleigh, NC
There is no reason for Tara to be insecure after that display of passion between our two ladies. Sometimes words aren't enough.

You have done an outsatnding job with this story so far. Are you going to cover the rest of the season?

_________________
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 23, 2005 8:09 am 
Offline
15. Apple Sauce & Tuna
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:03 am
Posts: 2188
Location: Nottingham, England
That was incredibly beautiful :x and I'm kinda speechless..I loved it!!. 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 23, 2005 12:34 pm 
Offline
23. Volumey Text
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 3714
Location: Chesterfield
That was a great update.

It was nice to be able to see what Tara was thinking during the ep NMR. I mean nice in a very sad and heart wrenching sort of way.

Of course it all ends well with lot's of :wtkiss and yay to spicy talk,

_________________
02/28/2007


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:39 pm 
Offline
30. Sweaty and Kinda Gay
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:17 am
Posts: 5210
Location: Oregon
Really wonderful update RaspberryHats. I like you take on NMR.

xoxo
Emms

_________________
G Wing


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:07 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:59 pm
Posts: 871
Location: Germany
I love you! Honestly ;)
Great take on NMR!
So the story will be finished with s4? :(

_________________
"I don't get your crazy system!"
"System? It's called the alphabet!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:13 pm 
Offline
1. Blessed Wannabe
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 1
Location: UK
WillowRulez wrote:
So the story will be finished with s4? :(

The very first post of this thread says:

RaspberryHats wrote:
Background This is starting from Season 4 and as the title suggests it covers events between Tara and Willow that we did not see on the screen. I started writing a fanfic set several years after this point but then realised I needed to go back to the start to really get to grips with the story I ultimately want to tell.

So as long as RaspberryHats hasn't changed her mind, the story will continue.

Great work by the way RH, I'm very much a lurker but your fic is one of few that make me come out of hiding to say how much I'm enjoying it.


Last edited by Dan on Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:11 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
Disclaimer As prior chapters, no copyright infringement is intended, this is solely for the enjoyment of the Kittens.

Feedback Very much appreciated.

Rating No more than PG for this chapter.

Background Season 4 and specifically for this chapter we will be covering The Yoko Factor, Primeval and Restless. I know that's three episodes in one but the period covered in these episodes is only a couple of days and Willow and Tara are apart for a big part of that time so they don't lend themselves to having a chapter each of their own.


Between The Lines


Chapter Thirteen – The Kitten, The Witches and The Bad Vampire


Tara woke to the sensation of sunlight falling across her face and also the sensation of something tickling her chin. Opening her eyes slowly she remembered that she had not closed the curtains last night, she had been looking out of the window when Willow had arrived and then she had become very distracted before finally falling asleep. The mystery of the tickling sensation was simple enough to solve, Willow was sleeping wrapped around her, her head resting just below Tara’s chin, the soft breeze through the open window gently blowing soft red curls against Tara’s skin. Tara felt a smile creeping across her face as she luxuriated in the sensation of being wrapped in her Willow blanket, the closeness warming her inside as well as out. For the first time she truly felt certain that she was loved, Willow had been given the choice of returning to her old life and her old love and had chosen instead to stay with her. Searching her innermost feelings Tara was delighted to find that none of the anxiety or uncertainty she had lived with for so long remained, laying here with Willow she knew perfect contentment.

“I hid them in the closet.” Willow mumbled sleepily.

“What did you hide sweetie?” Tara had started to learn that dream babble usually signalled Willow was waking up and a sure way to get her to open her eyes was to join in her conversation.

“My sweet tarts.” Willow giggled; half awake, and tentatively opened her eyes to find Tara gazing down at her.

Tara arched an eyebrow as she looked down at Willow’s sleep scrunched face, “I am your sweet tart?”

“No, no,” Willow shook her head, tickling Tara again with her hair, “the candy you know, I always had to hide it if Xander was coming over to play.”

“He stole your c-candy?”

“All the time,” Willow yawned a little and stretched before continuing, “he has the biggest sweet tooth, he stole my Barbie too.”


“He stole your B-Barbie because he has a sweet tooth?” Tara was getting more than a little confused.

“Oh no, he didn’t eat it just stole it,” Willow giggled, “I was being non-linear again wasn’t I?”

“A little bit,” Tara nodded, “I am starting to get used to it now.” Tara thought for a moment as Willow stretched and wiggled beside her, this was an opportunity to bring up something she had wanted to discuss for a while, last night before they had become too distracted for talk. “So d-do you need to hide me from Xander too?”

“Why would I want to do that, he likes you but not quite in that way I think, he better not anyway I warned him..” Willow began before realising quite what it was she was being asked, “Oh you mean, like with the coming out and telling everyone about us?”

“Yes, last night was w-wonderful Willow,” Tara couldn’t stop the smile that stole across her face as she remembered how hard willow had worked to make things up to her last night, “but I told you I want to be p-part of your world, I want to be able to hold you and k-kiss you without waiting until we are alone.”

“I get it,” Willow snuggled back against Tara, “I told you I wanted to shout our love from the rooftops and I meant it, I promise hiding is in the past, in fact,” Willow sat up suddenly as she remembered her conversation with the Slayer yesterday after Oz had left their dorm room, “Buffy already knows.”

“Buffy knows?” Tara was stunned, Willow had been so reluctant to tell her friends about them and yet somehow she had told Buffy and not even mentioned it. When had this happened?

“Yes, with everything that happened yesterday I totally forgot about it, she saw me yesterday just after Oz had left our room and she was kinda expecting me to be all you know,” Willow waved her arms for effect, “woo hoo Oz is back and I was so not woo hoo and she wanted to know why so I told her, about us I mean.”

“What d-did she say?” Tara dreaded the answer but she was a little re-assured by how casual Willow seemed to be about all of this.

“Oh, well we didn’t really get to talk much cos that was when I came to see you but I think she was ok with it, I mean she said she was although she was a bit freaked to begin with.” Willow giggled as she remembered the conversation, “I guess I just dropped it on her, I was so going to plan it all out and then in the end I just came right out and said it, I guess she just needed a moment to adjust.”

“So you really are ok with telling your friends?” Tara still needed re-assurance, even if Buffy now knew would Willow be able to go all the way?

“Sure baby,” Willow flashed Tara her best ‘I love you’ smile, “I mean it all kinda feels right now, with Oz coming back and everything, it made everything clear to me. I am in love with you and that’s something I want to share with my friends cos I love them too.”

“Oh Willow,” Tara wrapped her arms around the slim girl next to her, “you can say the most b-beautiful things.”

“I can?” Willow questioned even as she settled into Tara’s ever-welcome embrace.

“Yes you can, you speak with your h-heart and that is so rare and precious.”

“I thought it was my mouth,” Willow teased, “see my lips moving.”

“Beast,” Tara giggled and gave Willow a playful pat, “I can’t even give you a c-compliment without you teasing me.”

“I am just not used to compliments,” Willow answered truthfully, “plus it’s kind of a Scooby tradition, the teasing, and you are part of the Scooby world now.”

“I am?” Tara thought about that for a moment, “So have you thought about when you are going to tell everyone?”

“Not so much,” Willow admitted, “I want to be able to sit and talk properly, not just blurt it out in the middle of a Scooby meeting. I think maybe I want to tell people separately too so I can deal with the reactions without overload.”

“How d-do you think they will react?” Tara had her own ideas but was curious to know what Willow thought, they were her friends after all.

“Um, well Xander’s head is probably going to explode, there may be drool,” Willow laughed, “and Giles will probably clean his glasses a lot and clear his throat and then change the subject.”

“And Anya?”

“Anya can bite me,” Willow meowed, “I don’t particularly care what Miss Skanky Ex-Demon thinks.”

“Willow,” Tara admonished gently, “you know you are going to have to get over this thing with Anya don’t you? She is d-dating Xander and it is not fair on him if you two keep being snippy to each other.”

“I know,” Willow grumped, “but she just pushes my buttons, every time I try to be nice she just says something really rude or stupid and I end up snapping.”

“Well sweetie, if you want your f-friends to accept your choices maybe you need to start accepting theirs.” Tara was using the take-charge voice that for some reason Willow found terribly attractive, “Xander chose Anya and so long as she makes him h-happy you should try to accept her for who she is.” Tara had been meaning to address this with Willow for a while but she had almost lost her way when for some reason Willow started kissing her neck. “Um Willow?”

“Yes?” Willow looked up, an expression of pure innocence on her face.

“Where you even listening to me?” Tara tried to be annoyed but she couldn’t when Willow was making those puppy dog eyes.

“Uh huh,” Willow nodded, “you said stuff about Anya and you were using your sexy voice.”

“It’s no good,” Tara laughed as Willow nuzzled at her again, “I guess now is not the right t-time for a serious conversation.” Prompted by her own use of the word time she checked the clock by her bedside, they had slept in late, “so did you w-want to get up now?”

“Would that involve clothes?” Willow mumbled seductively, pausing only briefly from placing little butterfly kisses on Tara’s collarbone.

“Traditionally yes,” Tara giggled again, aware now of what was on Willow’s mind.

“Then I vote no,” Willow purred and before Tara could protest she kissed her into silence.

…………………………………………………………………………………….

Willow lay on the bed in Tara’s room and watched as her girlfriend fussed over the sleeping arrangements for the sneaky new kitty. They had finally gotten up fairly close to mid-day, the need for food and the necessity to take care of some other pressing business forcing Willow to abandon her plan to stay in bed forever. On calling her dorm room she had got no answer from Buffy and had spoken to Giles before learning that Buffy had taken off for L.A where apparently Faith had turned up to cause trouble for Angel. With Buffy out of town, at least for the day, Willow was free to spend the day with Tara and Tara had been set on picking up the kitten she had arranged to adopt. Collecting the kitten had been more work than Willow had anticipated, she had not given any thought to kitty toys, a sleeping basket, litter tray and all of the other necessities for proper care of a kitty. Fortunately Tara knew what was required and so they had trooped off to the mall and returned laden with bags full of kitty stuff for Miss Kitty Fantastico.

It crossed Willow’s mind that she ought to be more concerned for Buffy, what with Faith being such a psycho, but somehow this day was too perfect to be spoiled by thoughts of violence and mayhem and she was pretty sure that between them Buffy and Angel could more than handle Faith. The bigger problem was Adam and she knew she was going to have to get back on that soon but not today, today was for her and Tara and their new kitty.

The kitty was prowling now, the initial trepidation upon arriving in it’s new home replaced by the natural curiosity of it’s species, tiny tail flicking from side to side as it stalked Tara’s hand which rested on the floor as she sat adjusting the kitty basket. Pausing briefly to sniff the air, some sort of predator instinct Willow surmised, the kitty held position balanced on the tips of it’s tiny paws and then pounced, missing it’s target completely as Tara shifted position and rolling into an ungainly ball before springing back to it’s feet and scurrying for cover.

“Well that was graceful,” Willow laughed.

Tara laughed with her, “she is just a b-baby, she will learn.”

“I meant you,” Willow smiled as the inevitable blush coloured Tara’s cheeks and the blonde dipped her head to conceal her embarrassment, “but your are right about Miss Kitty, she has much to learn, are you sure we are cut out for parenthood?”

“Parenthood?” Tara giggled, “I don’t think looking after a k-kitty qualifies as parenthood Willow.”

“Not to you maybe but so far I haven’t even managed to keep a virtual pet alive, plus hellmouth, not a good combination for kitty safety.”

“Don’t panic Willow, I grew up on a farm remember?” Tara assumed her take-charge voice, “I won’t let anything happen to Miss Kitty.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot you were a country girl, I guess a kitty is like totally easy for you.” Willow spotted an opening for questioning Tara on something that had her curiosity piqued, “Still, its no wonder I forget when you hardly ever tell me anything about your childhood.” Willow gave Tara a pointed look determined to unearth some fascinating new Tara facts, she new Tara had to have been adorable as a child but she wanted details dammit.

“Um, n-not much to tell,” Tara stalled for time as she fought to keep the frown from showing on her face, she was so not ready for this conversation or anything at all to do with her family and heritage. “I can’t c-compete with vampire slaying and all the err hacking and stuff,” Tara was struggling she knew and was forced to use the most deadly weapon in her armoury, rummaging in her purse she held aloft the one thing guaranteed to distract Willow, “do you want these?”

Willow’s eyes grew wide as Tara held up the packet of sweet tarts, “um yeah, wow, when did you get those?” she answered even as she scooted from the bed to retrieve her prize.

“At the mall, when you were looking for kitty toys,” Tara laughed at Willow’s delight in the unexpected gift of candy, “I guessed you m-might like some after what you told me this morning, I figured even Xander couldn’t get them from my purse.”

“Nuh uh,” Willow shook her head, “he is super sneaky when there is sugar involved somewhere.”

“Speaking of s-sugar,” Tara feeling suddenly bold pulled Willow in for a quick kiss.

“Mmm ok,” Willow smiled beatifically, “we waited way too long between kisses today, I want more.”

“Kisses and c-candy?” Tara teased, “You just want it all today don’t you?”

“I guess so,” Willow laughed, “but its not often we get a whole day alone together so why not indulge? Speaking of,” Willow wiggled her eyebrows suggestively, “you are wearing way too many clothes for me to have it all.”

“Willow!” Tara feigned shock at the suggestion, “we aren’t alone, what about Miss Kitty?”

“Well, as parents we do have an obligation to teach her about the facts of life,” she stood and taking Tara by the hands led her toward the bed, “although maybe you ought to be quieter so as not to scare her.”

“Me quieter,” Tara spluttered in indignation, “I think you are way louder than me s-sweetie.”

“Is that so?” Willow smirked as she began to undress, “then why don’t you prove it to me?”

……………………………………………………………………

Tara could feel her anxiety rising by the second, as the atmosphere in Mr Giles apartment grew more and more confrontational. This day was definitely not turning out to be a good one and she could tell from the look in Willow’s eyes that she was about ready to snap with Buffy. The comments from Spike had set them both on edge even before Buffy’s arrival, the suggestion that Willow’s friends had been discussing their relationship behind Willow’s back and more to the point making snap judgements about it being some trendy phase. Willow had seemed all too willing to believe what Spike was telling her and Tara didn’t know Spike or Buffy well enough to judge for herself.

The knot of tension created by the throwaway remarks of the bleach blonde vampire had taken it’s toll on Willow as she had grown more and more frustrated by her inability to break the encryption on the stolen computer disks, now Buffy was here and Tara almost winced at the way the two friends were snapping at one another.

“Willow is not going either, I’m doing it alone.” Buffy glared around the room daring anyone to challenge her.

Tara could not bear to sit still and listen any longer but she had no desire for a confrontation, years of conditioning from her childhood had taught her to make herself scarce when the yelling started and so she slipped quietly past the quite inebriated Mr Giles and headed for the relative sanctuary of the bathroom, wincing as she heard Willow’s voice rise behind her.

“Oh great. And then when you have your new ‘no arms’ we can all say ‘Gee it’s a good thing we weren’t there getting in the way of that!’”

Tara slipped into the bathroom and leant against the tub as the door closed softly behind her, relaxing slightly she let out the breath she had not even known she was holding and then almost in an instant tensed again as the door was pushed open.

“Hi,” Anya said brightly as she stepped into the enclosed space, “I think maybe waiting here would be a good idea.”

“Me t-too”, Tara nodded as Anya closed the door and sat down on the closed lid of the toilet.

The sounds of the argument still filtered through to the two girls as they sat in companionable silence but at least they were out of the firing line. The voices were growing louder and the discussion more heated as what appeared to be a whole lot of resentment came boiling to the surface. Tara cringed inwardly again as the comments became more and more accusatory and personal, there was no way Willow was not going to end up hurt at the end of all this and she knew that despite what was being said Willow did love her friends deeply. Catching Anya’s inquisitive gaze studying her she wondered if maybe the other girl, having known the parties involved for longer than she, would know what to expect. “You think this will go on for a while?”

“Hard to say.” Anya replied blankly, seemingly unconcerned by the events even if she had opted to join Tara in hiding.

Disappointed Tara broke eye contact and looked again at their surroundings and then desperate for any sort of conversation to block the melee from the other room she attempted to make some small talk, “Nice bathroom.”

Anya seemed to consider that for a moment before nodding, “Like the tile.”

It was a start thought Tara, not that it was the most meaningful conversation she had ever had but right now she felt a certain kinship for Anya as they both sheltered here while their loved ones tore strips off one another with the viciousness that only close friends seemed capable of. Tara was just considering what else there was to comment on when Willow’s voice interrupted her thoughts.

“No, you'd do wonderful in the Army. Hey, do you think the umbilical cord between you and Anya can stretch that far?”

Tara cringed again slightly as she looked at Anya and saw the fury behind the other girls eyes, “S-sorry,” Tara apologised, “she is just angry I think, I m-mean I don’t think she means what she is s-saying.”

“Yes she does,” Anya replied coolly, “I know she doesn’t like me and I don’t care but why should you apologise for her?”

Tara was flustered by that question, “well, she is m-my friend and..”

“Tara, whatever Willow says or does is not your responsibility,” Anya huffed, “this is exactly like Xander saying he gets embaresed by the things I say, it’s a stupid human idea, why should anything someone else does embaress you?”

Anya actually made rather a good point in her own way and Tara felt the beginnings of a smile flicker across her face as she realised that whatever reservations Willow might have, she was beginning to like Anya and suspected the feeling could be mutual.

“Well, they certainly haven't been right, since Tara. We have to face it. You can't handle Tara being my girlfriend.”

Tara winced as Willow practically shouted her accusation at Buffy, so much for Willow’s plan to out herself in a controlled fashion, not that it was technically outing herself if her friends really had been discussing this behind her back. Remembering she was not alone she risked a glance at Anya to find the other girl appraising her coolly and not looking aghast as Tara had initially feared she might.

“Explains a lot.” Anya finally commented with as much interest as though they were still discussing the tile.

“You d-don’t seem surprised,” Tara spoke hesitantly, Anya’s lack of reaction on the one hand seeming to confirm that their relationship was already out in the open but then on the other hand her actual comment suggested she had not known before.

“Hello, 1,000 year old ex-vengeance demon,” Anya snorted, “you think I never saw a lesbian before?”

“Well..” Tara began but Anya cut her off again, warming to her theme.

“I did specialise in wronged women after all, plenty of my customers came around to your way of thinking once they realised what men are really like.”

“They did?” Despite the raging argument in the other room Tara was intrigued now.

“Sure, the things I’ve seen I sometimes wonder why anybody bothers with men.”

“What about you and Xander?”

“Oh Xander’s different,” Anya smiled at the thought of her boyfriend, “in fact he hardly acts like a man at all.”

Tara giggled at that remark, certain that Xander would be less than flattered if he knew what Anya was saying about him.

Anya found herself laughing along with Tara, it was nice to talk to someone without them jumping down your throat every other minute because you had said the wrong thing. She still didn’t like Willow but at least she had good taste in women, it would be nice to have somebody around the gang that she could be friends with. If there still was a gang she corrected herself a moment later as she heard Buffy slam out of the apartment door. Tara’s giggling had stopped too and they shy blonde was now wearing the slightly worried expression that Anya had decided she wore far too often for her liking. She was about to comment on just that fact when there was a knock on the bathroom door, which began to open without even waiting for a reply.

“Tara,” Willow stood in the doorway, her eyes glistening with tears, “take me home please.”

“W-Willow, sweetie,” Tara rushed to her girlfriend, concern radiating from her eyes as she wrapped her arms around the gently shaking redhead.

“B-Bye Anya,” Tara called over her shoulder as she steered Willow back out of the door, “it was n-nice talking to you.”

“You too,” Anya called after her as she stood ready to leave the bathroom, she was sure she liked Tara and would have liked more of an opportunity to talk but that would have to wait. Right now she was going to have to go and soothe Xander’s wounded pride, men were such babies!

………………………………………………………………..

Willow gave in to her misery the moment that they reached Tara’s dorm room, her body racked with sobs as she clung to her girlfriend and let all of her pent up emotions loose. She had fought to keep some sort of control over her emotions on the walk back to Tara’s room, desperate not to break down and embarrass herself in public. Thankfully Tara had sensed her need for privacy and so had remained silent as they hurried through the streets of Sunnydale, only squeezing Willow’s hand gently as they walked in a token gesture of comfort. The moment they had entered the room all of that had changed and Willow had felt strong arms enfold her in an embrace as the tears were finally free to flow.

Willow was vaguely aware of Tara murmuring words of comfort in her ear as she held her but she was unable to make out what she was saying other than that the sound of her voice was soothing. She hated arguments at the best of times and found them very upsetting but the viciousness of tonight’s fight amongst the gang had wounded her terribly, all of her worst fears seemed to be coming true. She had feared that choosing Tara might mean losing her friends but that had been an irrational, paranoid fear until tonight. She had told herself not to sell her friends short, they were sure to understand and everything would be ok once she found the courage to be open and yet somehow they had lived down to her worst expectations.

The tears and sobs slowly subsided as the initial storm of anguish passed and as it did Willow experienced a new emotion, slowly and then with gathering speed she began to get angry. How dare they judge her for being with Tara? She had never once condemned Buffy for dating a vampire or Xander for dating an ex-demon and yet they were judging her for dating another human being just because it was a same sex relationship. Most of the rage Willow felt was on behalf of Tara, she was mortified that not only had her friends reacted so badly to their relationship but that they had argued about it in front of Tara.

Willow pushed free from Tara’s embrace and wiped her hand across her eyes in a futile attempt to repair the damage that the weeping had caused. Looking up into Tara’s soft blue eyes she saw the concern and compassion there and wanted to weep again for the hurt Tara must have suffered, listening to the narrow minded opinions of her friends. “I am so sorry Tara,” Willow reached out a hand to brush Tara’s cheek, “I thought they would see what I see.”

“Willow it’s ok,” Tara placed her hand over Willow’s, holding it clasped to her cheek, “I only c-care about you, I d-don’t need their acceptance.”

“How can they be so blind,” Willow spoke more forcefully than she had intended as her anger boiled within her again, “don’t they see how good you are for me? They are supposed to be my friends and they were so full of concern when I was down after Oz left, they should be happy for me. Was all of that a lie? It’s like they never cared at all, they just wanted me to stop being miserable so they didn’t have to be inconvenienced by it.”

Tara calmly waited for Willow to finish her tirade, she couldn’t deny that she was hurt at the way things had worked out but she found she couldn’t equate what had happened with everything Willow had told her about her friends. For now it was enough that Willow was upset and she was not going to make matters worse by going to pieces on her, she could be strong for both of them and it was true that the opinions of willow’s friends mattered far less to her than they obviously did to Willow herself. “Sweetie, I know how b-bad you feel right now but you h-have to let it go,” Tara lifted her hand to stroke a lock of willow’s hair back from her forehead, “none of this can be solved tonight.”

“But the things they said, I..”

“Let it go,” Tara repeated, “none of that matters in here,” she gestured to indicate her room, “or in here,” she placed her hand over her heart.

Willow felt her anger draining from her, Tara’s words soothing her like nothing else could but still she could not quite forget what had happened, “I can’t Tara, what if they never understand?”

“Can you answer that tonight?”

“No,” Willow shook her head slowly, unable to fight against Tara’s logic.

“You need to t-talk to them,” Tara smiled softly, happy that she was getting through to Willow, “but you can’t do that now and worrying at this all night will only make it harder for you.”

“How can I talk to them?” Willow protested, “they made their feelings clear.”

“Did they?” Tara prompted Willow to think about what she was saying.

“Well Buffy said…,” Willow frowned as she tried to recall specifically what Buffy had said, “and Xander he..”

“Think Willow,” Tara urged as she saw the confusion in Willow’s eyes, “I d-don’t know them as well as you do, but the people you keep t-telling me about are not like this.” Willow’s frown deepened as she thought about what Tara was saying, “is it possible it’s a misunderstanding?”

“I guess,” Willow acknowledged finally, “I may have jumped to a few conclusions.” She smiled faintly and that was all the encouragement Tara needed.

“I think so,” Tara took Willow’s hands in hers and guided her over to the bed to sit down, “maybe you n-need to give them a little time.”

“But why can’t they see?”

“Did you think it w-would be that easy?” Tara’s voice, though gentle, bore just a touch of criticism, “if it were then why would anyone worry about c-coming out? It’s a big deal and if you really do l-love your friends then you have to be prepared to give them time to adjust. If they are who you think they are then they will g-get it in the end.”

“Do you really think so?” Willow asked, willing to believe anything Tara told her right now.

“I can’t promise Willow but yes, I think they will if you give them time.”

Miss Kitty had watched the proceedings quietly from the safety of her basket and chose this moment to stretch her legs, hopping onto the bed and into Willow’s lap as the redhead pondered Tara’s words. The sight of the kitty yawning and then curling up on her human bed was enough to dispel the last of Willow’s dark mood. “I think maybe I am being just a little stupid about this,” she conceded with a rueful smile.

“No, sweetie, this is h-hard for you,” Tara corrected her, “I get that, tonight was just the first step.”

“More steps?” Willow groaned, “Can’t we just skip it, can you just be kissing me now?”

“Miss Kitty might get jealous,” Tara laughed as they both looked at the tiny ball of fur in Willow’s lap.

“I think maybe the kitty basket might have been a waste of money,” Willow joined in Tara’s laughter, “I guess it’s three of us in the bed tonight.”

…………………………………………………………………………

The sun had long since set but Tara remained motionless looking out of the window, the kitten purring gently in her lap, as she watched and waited for any sign of Willow. In her mind she kept repeating over and over that she should have gone with Willow this morning and then she could have kept her safe but now she was away on some insane mission to defeat Adam and all she could do was wait.

They had woken early to the fun new game of chase the kitten, Miss Kitty having decided that she was bored and that jumping on the sleeping humans would make a splendid game. Willow had protested at being awoken so early but she had been in a far better mood than the night before and for that Tara was thankful, she had hated seeing Willow so upset. Still Willow had shown no inclination to try and straighten things out with her friends and so they had spent the morning in the room, discussing their course choices for next year and playing with the tireless Miss Kitty.

Tara had been relieved when Buffy had called, Willow might have appeared happy enough but she was clearly still troubled by her estrangement from her friends and so Tara had encouraged her to go and meet with Buffy and make peace. Willow had wanted Tara to accompany her but she had decided to remain behind, Willow thought it was that she felt uncomfortable but in truth Tara just wanted Willow to be able to talk openly with her friends, it was best if she let them all have some space to work things out and she trusted that Willow could make things right. So Tara had remained and entertained Miss Kitty and waited for Willow to return, not considering that once the friends buried the hatchet they would cook up an insane plan to bury an altogether less metaphorical hatchet in Adam.

Willow’s first phone call had been welcome and had lifted Tara’s spirits considerably, the revelation that Spike had been playing the friends off against one another in an attempt to sever the bond between them had come as a relief. Willow had radiated happiness as she explained to Tara that the tension had evaporated as soon as they had realised what had happened and although she still had not had a chance to discuss things with her friends she instinctively knew that it was going to be all right. Willow had been apologetic about not coming back straight away but the gang had wanted to swing back into action and Tara understood that one of the best ways to heal the rift that had grown between them all was to return to familiar ground and so she had not protested Willow’s decision to be Scooby research gal for the afternoon.

Tara had kept herself busy as she waited for the Scooby meeting to end and had just been contemplating whether to dip into her limited funds and take Willow out to dinner when the second call had come. Willow had been even more excited than before as she had breathlessly explained how they planned to put an end to Adam’s schemes by performing an enjoining spell, the idea being to imbue Buffy with even more powers, mystical as well as physical, so that she could defeat the monster in a straight fight. Tara had been horrified at the danger this plan would involve but she could not think of any way to talk Willow out of it, this was part of Willow’s life and pointing out it was dangerous was never going to stop her going ahead. Tara knew however that an enjoining spell was way beyond anything Willow had tried before and the magic held an enormous risk for all of those involved. Leaving aside her concerns over the spell she had especially not liked the idea of going into the Initiative to confront Adam, she had seen what was on the disks and she knew what was down there. Before they could even cast the spell they would almost certainly have to fight their way past unimaginable horrors and Tara had felt weak with terror as she contemplated all the terrible things that could happen to her angel.

Despite her own fears Tara had immediately offered to go with them, reasoning that if Willow was going to be in danger she wanted to be there to protect her, but Willow had been adamant that she did not want Tara in harms way. Tara had no experience of the world of the Slayer and so she could not present any logical argument to change Willow’s mind, she knew in her own heart that she might have been a liability if she had gone along but the waiting was unbearable. That call had been several hours ago and Tara had barely moved a muscle since, sitting in an almost trance-like state by the window and occasionally petting the kitten who sensing her mood had decided to stay close and offer whatever comfort she could.

Tara’s eyes gazed blankly out at the darkened night sky not seeing anything as her mind filled with awful images, Willow suffering every kind of horror that her imagination could conjure up. It had been so long, surely something had gone horribly wrong and Willow could be badly hurt or even dead but she could not allow herself to believe that. It seemed impossible that Willow could pull this off but she had to keep reminding herself that this was nothing new to her girlfriend, she had been fighting horrors for four years now and somehow she had always emerged unscathed. She had to trust to the fates that had brought them together that they would not now be so cruel as to take Willow away again, that somehow she would prevail against this monster and come back to her.

Tara had been sitting motionless for so long that at first she did not even recognise that the telephone was ringing, she was dimly aware that something was different and broke out of her reverie like a sleeper awakening. The realisation hit her like a bolt of lightening and suddenly she flung herself sideways across the bed to grab the receiver before the answering machine kicked in, the startled kitten gave a mew of indignation as she was pitched sideways and Tara was dimly aware of sharp little claws digging into her leg.

“Willow, Willow, is that you baby?” She spoke as soon as the phone was in her hand; please let her be all right.

“Tara, it’s me, ohmygod it was amazing..” Willow began but before she could finish Tara interrupted.

“I’ve b-b-been so worried,” Tara half sobbed with relief at the sound of Willow’s voice, she was ok.

“Baby, it’s ok,” Willow’s concern was obvious even from this distance, “it worked, we beat Adam and we are all fine.”

“Where are you?” Tara wanted Willow here, right now, so she could check with her own eyes and make sure she really was fine.

“Buffy’s,” Willow explained, “we just got back and somehow we all ended up here, I am not sure who decided that,” Willow sounded slightly confused, “I think we are still buzzing from the spell, it’s like we aren’t ready to go our separate ways yet.”

Tara understood that much, the enjoining spell was powerful and the connection would take a while to fade, “you really are ok?”

“Tara, I am fine, finey fine Mcfine,” Willow assured her, “that is apart from the missing you like crazy thing.”

“Oh W-Willow, I miss you too.”

“I know baby, I wish I was there with you right now but I think I need to stay here for a while longer, I can’t explain it but it doesn’t feel right to leave yet.”

“The c-connection,” Tara explained, “the spell is still holding part of you, and you have to stay together til it fades.”

“How long?”

“P-probably a few hours,” Tara admitted reluctantly, “I guess it’s just me and Miss Kitty tonight.”

“Miss Kitty,” Willow exclaimed, “put her on the phone.”

“What?”

“I need to talk to her, please Tara.”

“Ok,” Tara didn’t understand but she could imagine Willow’s resolve face even if she couldn’t see it, swooping the kitty up from between her feet she held her close to the receiver, “she is here.”

“Miss Kitty, it’s Willow, I need you to do something for me,” Tara giggled at the serious way Willow spoke to the uncomprehending kitten, “I can’t be there to give your mommy snuggles tonight so you have to take care of her, keep her safe and warm so she doesn’t have to sleep alone. Now meow once if you understand.” Amazingly and right on cue the kitten mewed into the receiver, much to Tara’s amazement, “ok put your mommy back on.”

“Willow, you amaze me,” Tara spoke as soon as she had returned the kitten to the floor, “how d-did you make her do that?”

“Resolve face,” Willow said solemnly and then unable to keep up the act started to laugh, “I am sorry, I just want to be there with you and I need to know you are ok.”

“I am now, I mean, I w-want to see you but you have to finish what you started with the spell, I c-can wait.”

“I am going to have to make this up to you, that’s a nice thought,” Willow giggled, “I will come to you as soon as I can,” she promised, “I love you Tara.”

“I l-love you too.”

_________________
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 Nov 26, 2005 7:44 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:50 pm
Posts: 225
Location: québec, canada
Woohoo! Keep 'em coming! :P

That was a really good update. I'm not really in big FB mode right now (sleeeeeeepy, its so late :s), so all i,m gonna say is: I love you fic!!!

_________________
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 Nov 26, 2005 9:08 pm 
Offline
19. Yummy Face

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:40 pm
Posts: 2934
Location: Raleigh, NC
You really do a great job of connecting the dots with this story. I hope you will keep writing.

_________________
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 Nov 27, 2005 10:02 am 
Offline
5. Willowhand

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:03 pm
Posts: 325
That was a really good update. I liked how you showed the Anya and Tara interaction in the bathroom. I also liked how you made Anya "get it," unlike Buffy originally. I look forward to the last chapter of this, but hopefully you'll write many, many other fabulous stories for us to read?

Pretty please?

Don't make me beg. :D

Seriously, great job.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 5:06 am 
Offline
17. Mega-Witches
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Posts: 2538
Location: USA
RaspberryHats, what a great update to come back to from the Thanksgiving holiday! I really liked it how you showed Tara and Anya's conversation in the bathroom. I always thought they would be a good pair, friendwise, and you portrayed a realistic interaction between the two of them. I liked Tara's thoughts about Anya and why she's so blunt; that was well done.

I saw that you said in the update thread that this is almost over; I guess the fourth season pretty much is over after Restless, eh? You also said in your original post that you had been working on a fic but realized you wanted to tell this story first, so does that mean that your next fic will parallel S5 or deviate from it?

_________________
Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:51 am 
Offline
15. Apple Sauce & Tuna
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:03 am
Posts: 2188
Location: Nottingham, England
That was 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: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:40 am 
Offline
13. Big Knowledge Woman
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:28 pm
Posts: 1721
Topics: 1
Location: Ohio
Hey RH!

Wow, just loved your take on NMR. Absolutely beautifully done. Also, your take on Yoko Factor, etc., very well done. The Tara/Anya bathroom scene was great.

I'm sad to see you're almost finished with this because I've enjoyed it so much. I would love to see more.

Wimpy

_________________
Pam aka Wimpy0729
Restlessness ~ Quickies - The Lovers, The Dreamers & Me

"There was plenty of magic." ~~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:27 pm 
Offline
32. Kisses and Gay Love
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:35 am
Posts: 9572
Topics: 7
Location: Texas, Y'all
Wow, two really well done episodes. Your post-NMR scene was really beautifully done with fantastic emphasis on their love and the sensuality of their relationship. The next update is very complete but comforting too. Well done.

_________________
Menorah Tales | Working It Out | Random Bits


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:23 pm 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:09 am
Posts: 471
Location: Shoalhaven,NSW, Australia
Wow, RH, another great inside view of the series.

I liked the beginnings of friendly bonding between Tara and Anya when they ducked the gang's blood-letting at Giles' place. Also the way you show how Tara can lose her insecurity when she is concerned for Willow, thinks for herself, and helps Willow through the emotional quagmire.

I'm sorry to see that this fic is drawing to an end. You write well, your characters are lively and true, and you've given us a great parallel story. Thanks. Hopefully you will be putting more fics up on the KB - I'll be looking out for them.

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: Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:03 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
Oops

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

Bargaining


Last edited by RaspberryHats on Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:04 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
So here is the final chapter as promised, apologies for the delay but it has been a pretty hectic week and also I wanted to try and get this right so as not to let down those of you who have followed this story. I owe a few of you responses to the wonderful feedback you have given me and now that the story is complete I promise I will get to that, I would post more tonight but as it is 3am here you must forgive me but I am going to bed once this is posted.

Disclaimer The characters of Willow and Tara and the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer are the property of Joss Whedon, no copyright infringement is intended.

Feedback Yes please.

Background This takes place right after the episode Restless.

Rating No more than PG13, sorry smut fans.


Between The Lines


Chapter Fourteen – Always and Forever


Willow giggled as the soft sounds of Xander snoring in Buffy’s living room filtered through to the kitchen, so much for the manly chat he was supposed to be having with Giles about Apocalypse Now. The hot chocolate provided by Joyce had been just the thing after the unpleasant dreams of the first Slayer and it seemed that the boys were now catching up on some more restful sleep. The invitation to join in their debate on the merits or otherwise of the Coppola masterpiece had been declined as Willow was happier sitting at the kitchen table with her drink, enjoying the peace and quiet that allowed her to have a good mental tidy after the events of a very strange day. Buffy had abandoned them early on to go and take a shower and Joyce had gone back to bed so Willow was very much left alone. Not alone though she corrected herself, feeling the now almost ever present smile spreading across her face, now she had Tara she was never truly alone, even when they were apart.

Gazing out of the window there was no sign yet of approaching dawn so officially it was too early to be awake, the deep down tiredness Willow felt confirmed that and yet the idea of crashing in the room with Xander and Giles held little appeal. Slipping her hand into her pocket she fingered the key Tara had given her to her dorm room and realised she knew exactly where she wanted to be, she just needed to get her bag from the living room without disturbing the sleepers. Pushing her chair back quietly and wincing at the slight scraping sound it made on the tile, Willow stood and tiptoed from the kitchen to collect her things. A sneaky moment later and with her bag in hand she backed slowly out of the room, trying not to be too grossed out by the sight of the drooling Xander as he hugged Buffy’s cushions. Mission complete she slipped on her jacket and walked back through to the kitchen to turn off the light, ready to make her escape.

The sound of footsteps in the upstairs hallway reminded her that Buffy was still awake even if nobody else was and presumably out of the shower now. Would Buffy still feel too wired for sleep as she had been earlier or would she just head for her room? Her question was answered all too swiftly as after a brief pause, the footsteps continued along the hallway and onto the stairs, Buffy was headed straight for her and here she was all set to go, she bravely stood still like a rabbit caught in the headlights as the footsteps drew nearer.

“Hey did everybody go to bed already?” Buffy asked as she entered the kitchen, not considering that if they had then there would be nobody to answer her question. She stopped just inside the doorway as she took in the sight of Willow, jacket on and bag in hand, wearing her ‘uh oh busted’ expression. “Going somewhere Will?”

“Oh, err hi Buffy,” Willow flustered, “I was just..”

“Bailing out on me?” Buffy finished the sentence for her.

“No, not bailing, I mean that’s such a judgemental word,” Willow was on the ropes and she knew it, “you don’t want to be judgey now do you Buff?”

“Since when is stating a fact judgemental Will? I go take a shower and I come back to find you sneaking out of the house without even saying goodbye.” Buffy’s eyes glittered dangerously making it clear to Willow that she was on dangerous ground.

“Well it’s not like that,” Willow protested, “Xander and Giles both crashed out from the hot chocolaty goodness and I figured maybe you were not coming back and I..”

“Wanted to go and see Tara?” Buffy asked sternly and then unable to keep up the act any longer she started to laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Willow was momentarily taken aback by Buffy’s sudden change of mood until the realisation dawned that she had been had, “Buffy!”

“I am sorry Will but you looked so guilty,” Buffy explained between guffaws, “I just had to do it, I think you can stand to be teased a little if you are the only one who won’t be sleeping alone tonight.”

“Not the only one,” Willow corrected as she joined in the laughter, “Xander and Giles are pretty snugly in there.”

“Don’t even go there,” Buffy shuddered, “I still have nightmares about Giles and my mom, I don’t need more disturbing images thank you.”

“So you don’t mind?” Willow asked once the laughter had subsided, “about me going I mean, cos I can stay if you want me to.”

“No way Will, I am just going to crash now anyway.” Buffy watched Willow’s face light up with a smile and asked the question even though she already knew the answer, “You love her don’t you?”

“I do,” Willow was positively beaming at the thought of Tara, “I mean, I am not even sure love is a strong enough word, I just feel..”

“I get it Will,” Buffy’s own smile was almost as wide, delighted to see her closest friend so happy, “I mean, not so much the girl on girl thing, but I am working on it. I get the love thing though, I’ve been there.”

“You really do?”

“I do,” Buffy nodded, still smiling, “and you don’t even have to tell me, I can see it in your eyes every time you say her name.”

“Is it that obvious?” Willow asked with a smile halfway between happiness and embarrassment.

“Will, you always did wear your heart on your sleeve, plus, best friend standing here, you think you can fool me?”

“Fool those razor sharp instincts, no never,” Willow laughed and then became serious just for a moment, “I love you Buffy,” then considering how that sounded she added quickly, “in a totally best friend kind of way, not in a like I love Tara kind of way.”

“Never crossed my mind Willow,” Buffy giggled at Willow’s spaz attack, “I am not going to get all weird on you now, we are still friends like we always were.”

“Best friends,” Willow nodded, “forever.” She meant it too as she felt her eyes mist a little with the emotion of this re-connection with the girl she loved better than any sister.

“Forever,” Buffy echoed, “now I need you to do me a favour.”

“Anything Buff, what do you need?” Willow really wanted to get going but after the moment they had just shared she could hardly bail now.

“I want you, as my best friend in the whole world,” Buffy asked with mock solemnity, “to quit yammering in my kitchen and go see your honey.”

“Oh ok,” Willow felt a flood of relief as she realised she was being teased and opted to play along, “but I am only doing this for you, best friend.”

“Get going Rosenberg, before I change my mind,” Buffy mock threatened and then decisively made for the front door.

Willow bounced along behind Buffy and as she paused on the doorstep she impulsively threw her arms around the Slayer and pulled her into a fierce hug, “you are the best Buffy, thanks.”

“Aw, don’t get all sappy on me now Will,” Buffy joked as she struggled to conceal her own emotions, “I have Xander for that.”

“Sorry Buff,” Willow released her hold and took a step out onto the path, “so see you tomorrow maybe?”

“Absolutely,” Buffy affirmed and then an idea hit her, “hey, want to Bronze it tomorrow tonight? We can celebrate stomping Adam and you can bring your girlfriend.”

“Sounds great,” Willow agreed enthusiastically, “I am sure Tara would love to come.”

“Good,” Buffy switched back to teasing mode, “now she is dating my best friend I need to check her over, make sure she is good enough for my Willow.”

“Don’t you dare,” Willow protested and then realised she was being teased again, “ok you are impossible,” laughing she backed down the path, “night Buffy.”

“Night Will, do try and get some sleep tonight.” Buffy winked at her blushing friend as she retreated into the night and then closed the door softly behind her.

Willow watched Buffy close the door and then abandoning all sense of decorum she turned and broke into a run, desperate now to get to Tara as soon as possible. The night air was sharp in her lungs and the sky looked more glorious than ever as she stretched her legs and felt the exhilaration run through her. The desire to run was as much a symptom of her happiness as it was her desire to reach her destination, the euphoria she felt bubbling up inside her demanded that she run and had it not been so quiet she probably would have whooped and hollered too. The conversation with Buffy had erased so many of her concerns and she felt a little thrill at the idea of a simple night out with the gang at the Bronze with Tara along as her official date. There were still a few bridges to cross, her parents for one, but she knew that the people who mattered most would be there for her when all was said and done.

Reaching Tara’s building she hurtled up stairs and along hallways until she arrived breathless outside of the door to her happiness. Fumbling the key into the lock, she eased open the door and slipped silently into the room, her eyes already used to the dark she made out Tara’s sleeping figure in the bed and crossed over to take a better look. Willow undressed as quietly as she could as she studied the beautiful vision before her, unable to quite believe her luck that she was here and Tara loved her. With a sigh of sheer bliss she slid between the covers and wrapped her arms around Tara, spooning her body against her love and luxuriating in the warmth and comfort that contact brought. Willow wondered whether it would be ok to wake Tara for a little late night fun and she was still considering that idea when sleep finally claimed her.

……………………………………………………………………………..

Tara was having a wonderful dream, Willow had decided not to stay at Buffy’s after all and had appeared in her room in the middle of the night and joined her in the bed. It wasn’t a naughty dream, just a dream of being held and sharing closeness, still it was a dream that Tara had no wish to leave before she absolutely had too and so she fought with all her strength against that part of her mind that told her it was morning and time to wake up. Try as she might to hold onto sleep she was gradually becoming aware of the world around her, the sunlight that fell across face, the soft murmur of voices from the early risers outside her window and the soft warm breath on the back of her neck.

Tara’s eyes shot open as she finally processed that last piece of information, breath on her neck and what else was that she could feel, a warm body pressed tight against her back and strong arms wrapped around her. Her lips burst into a brilliant smile as wide as her big blue eyes as she realised she had not been dreaming at all, Willow had returned to her in the night but in her sleep addled state she had thought she was dreaming. Tara felt a flicker of annoyance with herself for not waking up properly when Willow returned but then again if she had then she would have not had such a lovely surprise this morning and as surprises went, this was one of the best she could have wished for.

Slipping free from the arms that held her, Tara turned to face the other way and came face to face with a mop of tousled red hair and the adorable face of her sweetheart, eyes just beginning to peep open to greet the day. “Hey sweetie,” Tara smiled at the sleep scrunched face, “aren’t you just the s-sneakiest.”

“Do I hear you complaining,” Willow protested and then covered her mouth to stifle a tiny yawn before continuing, “I couldn’t stay away, I think you might have bewitched me Miss Maclay.”

“You think I n-needed magic to capture you?” Tara asked in a mock hurt voice although her smile gave away the fact that she was teasing.

“Oh no, no way,” Willow tried to emphasise her words with a shake of the head but realising she would have to lift her head from the pillow to achieve the desired effect she gave in to her more lazy impulses, “a hot mama yama like you could get any girl she wanted, no magic.”

“Any girl?” Tara raised her eyebrows questioning that statement.

“Oh sure, I mean who wouldn’t want you,” Willow enthused, “not that you can have any girl though,” this time Willow did relinquish the pillow long enough to shake her head, “no other girls at all, I am not big with the sharing.”

“I am glad to hear it,” Tara giggled at Willow’s earnest expression, “but you c-can relax, I have all the girl I want.”

“Darn tootin.”

Tara’s giggles turned to full blown laughter as she tried and failed to take Willow seriously, “So how come you d-didn’t stay at Buffy’s?”

“Long story,” Willow began and then flashed Tara her most winning smile before continuing, “kind of a take me out for waffles and coffee and I will tell all story.”

“Ok deal,” Tara returned Willow’s smile with interest, breakfast for two sounded perfect right about now. “So what plans d-do you have for today?”

“Tara plans, of the all day variety.”

“My favourite,” Tara enthused, feeling a glow of happiness at the thought of Willow all day, “anything specific?”

“Oh well, after breakfast I do need to swing by Giles place cos I left my laptop there again, you know with all the sneaking off to fight Adam excitement, and then I was thinking, maybe the mall?” Willow definitely wanted to hit the mall, she had plans and the mall was essential.

“Count me in, do you n-need anything particular at the mall?”

“Could do,” Willow teased, “come with me and find out.”

“Ok,” Tara grinned, trying not to get too carried away at Willow’s unintentional double entendre.

“Oh, oh,” Willow sat up excitedly in the bed, “I almost forgot, we are going to the Bronze tonight.”

“We are?” Tara wondered why going to the Bronze should get Willow so excited, to hear Willow tell it she had been Bronzing it several times a week for the last few years.

“Uh huh,” Willow nodded, “Buffy’s idea, the whole gang partying at the Bronze, kind of a celebration after beating the big evil.”

“Cool,” Tara smiled, so that’s why Willow was excited, the significance of a night out with the whole gang now that their relationship was out in the open did not escape her. She knew how much Willow wanted her friends to share in her happiness and it seemed that maybe she was going to get her wish.

“I had a good talk with Buffy,” Willow blushed a little from the memory, “she thinks I might be a little bit in love with you.”

“Is she right?” Tara asked teasingly.

“You know she is, it’s just,” Willow’s smile lit up her face again, “I really think she gets it, I was afraid she wouldn’t understand but she really seemed happy for me.”

“Willow that’s wonderful,” Tara could have hugged Buffy if she was there at that moment, “I guess she did just need a little time.”

“I guess,” Willow nodded, “so you don’t mind me planning the day like this?”

“No,” Tara confirmed, slipping a hand inside the back of Willow’s shirt as she spoke, “so long as I am in the p-plans I don’t care what we do.”

“Ooh, that could be interesting, we can do anything?” Willow could feel her brain hum into life as she considered all the possibilities that statement opened up, she could also feel Tara’s fingers tracing a slow circle on the small of her back and that raised interesting possibilities too.

“Anything.” Tara confirmed, smiling seductively.

“I need to give this some serious thought,” Willow grinned, “but you still owe me breakfast if you want me to spill about last night.”

“Breakfast can w-wait a while,” Tara purred as she slipped her hand a little lower.

“But, the waffles.” Willow protested weakly.

“Will taste better once you work up an appetite.

Tara’s hand was doing some very interesting things now and Willow could feel her brain fogging, “Tara, what are you doing?”

“Taking control,” Tara smiled, “you don’t mind do you?”

“Oh no,” Willow smiled and whispered into Tara’s ear, “vixen.”

……………………………………………………………………………………

Breakfast had been very late, almost brunch Tara decided as she walked with Willow to Mr Giles apartment, the delay had been more than worth it though as they had both had a chance to show just how much they had missed each other yesterday. Willow’s explanation of the weird shared dream, a side product of the powerful spell the gang had cast, had been interesting but she had been far more interested in the details of Willow’s conversation with Buffy. Knowing how the Slayer felt about their relationship was a weight off her mind and she found that despite her shyness she was excited about the prospect of a night out ‘bronzing it’ as Willow put it. Approaching Giles door she automatically began to let go of Willow’s hand but felt the redhead tighten her grip and refuse to let go.

“We don’t have to do that anymore,” Willow admonished her gently, “out and proud girlfriend standing right here.”

“Sorry,” Tara smiled at Willow’s resolve face, “force of habit.”

“Time to quit then, I like your hand exactly where it is and if Giles has a problem then maybe it’s time we reminded him it’s not the eighteenth century anymore.”

Willow knocked on the door and a moment later it swung open to reveal Buffy’s watcher looking just a little worse for wear.

“Ah Willow, I didn’t expect to see you today.”

“Hello to you too Giles,” Willow stepped forward as he ushered the girls inside, “I just came by for my laptop, again.”

“Hello Mr Giles.” Tara greeted the Englishman.

“Hello Tara, how are you today?” Giles asked with just a hint of embarrassment in his voice.

“Very well, thank you.”

“Good, good,” turning to Willow he continued, “it’s on the table where you left it, I am ashamed to admit I was afraid to touch it.”

Willow grinned at Giles admission of his techno-fear, “no problem Giles, but really these things are a lot harder to break than you think.”

Ever the genial host Giles headed to his small kitchen area, “can I get either of you anything? Tea or maybe something to eat?”

“No thanks Giles,” Willow shut the laptop and slipped it into it’s carrying case, “we had breakfast on the way here.”

“Right, ok then,” Giles walked back to the seating area where the two girls stood and in a move so familiar to Willow, he removed his glasses and began polishing them. “I er, I am glad you came by actually,” he replaced his glasses and smiled at the girls as they waited patiently for him to continue, “both of you that is, there is something I need to say.”

“If it involves hell beasts or an apocalypse it can wait,” Willow teased, “we have shopping planned.”

“No, no,” Giles chuckled at Willow’s outburst, “no apocalypse today, I believe that is next Thursday.” Giles expression became serious once more as he struggled to overcome his obvious discomfort, “I wanted to apologise, to both of you, the way I behaved the other night..”

“Forgotten already,” Willow interrupted, “it was just the gallon of alcohol that was to blame.”

“Even so,” Giles continued, “I learnt something that, well, something that took me by surprise, and I behaved like a prize idiot.”

“It’s ok Mr Giles,” Tara could see how embarrassed he was and despite her own annoyance at the events when she was last here her compassionate nature wanted to make this as easy as possible for him.

“No Tara, it’s not ok,” Giles sighed, “Willow is very important to me,” he smiled at the blush that coloured Willow’s cheeks, “and I hope that you too will become a good friend in time, I would be honoured if that were the case.” Now it was Tara’s turn to blush but still Giles continued, “the choice that you both have made takes enormous courage and you deserve my support and respect, I failed miserably on both counts and so I must ask that you accept my apology.”

“Giles,” Willow’s voice was thick with emotion, “of course we accept or I mean, I do and..”

“Yes,” Tara interrupted, “we do.”

“Good, good,” Giles removed his glasses again, “thank you both,” his embarrassment was evident as he polished furiously at the already spotless glasses.

The trio stood in silence for a few moments more, Tara looking from Willow to Mr Giles and back again before sensing that perhaps the two old friends could use a moment alone, “excuse me,” she murmured and slipped quietly from the room on the pretext of using the bathroom.

Willow watched Tara walk away, not breaking her gaze until the blonde was out of sight, unaware that Giles was studying her at least as closely as she was studying Tara.

“You love her don’t you?” Giles found himself speaking almost without thinking as he recognised the look in Willow’s eyes

“You are the second person to say that to me,” Willow laughed, “and yes I do, I know it might seem strange but it’s real Giles, I can’t explain it but I feel like I was meant to love her.”

“It doesn’t seem strange at all,” Giles gestured for Willow to take a seat as he dropped into a chair himself, “love is a perfectly natural thing.”

“Giles, its ok if you are a little freaked, I didn’t exactly see this coming myself and hello, I speak to me every day.”

“I am not ‘freaked’ as you put it,” Giles winced as he pronounced the word, “I was young myself once and a college student too, I was just taken by surprise but we covered that already.”

“So you are ok with this?” Willow had figured that being so old Giles would be the one who would have the hardest time with her new relationship, she also realised with some surprise that his opinion really mattered, something about his being the nearest thing she had to a parent figure in her life with the lack of concern that her biological parents showed in her.

“If you are happy then of course,” Giles looked a little uncomfortable and cleared his throat before continuing, “my life has been full in many ways, I stand by the choices I have made but I do sometimes regret that I never found time for a family.”

“You are not that old Giles,” Willow interjected.

“That’s not really the point and besides I wasn’t finished,” Giles managed that look of mild annoyance that he so frequently wore when talking to any of the gang, “now where was I? Oh yes, family.” Giles again looked embarrassed as he paused and then seemed to focus on a spot somewhere to the right of Willow’s head, “in my years in Sunnydale you have all come to me a great deal to me, I have watched you grow up and I do feel responsible for you all and I care a great deal about you,” Giles allowed himself a smile, “even Xander.”

“Well, we love you too Giles, you know that right?” Willow wondered where Giles was going with all of this; it was certainly out of character for the normally reserved former librarian.

“I want all of you to find happiness and fulfilment in your lives, nothing could bring me greater pleasure,” Giles turned his gaze back to Willow and continued, “you say that you love Tara and I want you to know how happy I am for you.”

“You really mean that?” Willow asked, “I mean, I am so happy with Tara and you really do understand?”

“I do,” Giles paused again, “Willow, what I am trying to say is that I am proud of you, I could not be prouder if you were my own daughter,” Giles removed his glasses and wiped his hand across his eyes, “and Tara is a lucky young woman indeed if you truly do love her.”

Willow felt a surge of affection for this normally reserved man, she had desperately wanted Giles to understand but she had never dreamed he would lower his defences in this way. Already she could see that he was feeling uncomfortable and yet she could not find the words to express how she felt, standing she walked to where he sat and placed a hand on his shoulder, finally breaking the silence she simply said “thank you” and then leaning down she briefly hugged him.

Tara had started to walk back into the room only to stop just out of sight when she had heard Giles tell Willow how happy he was for her. Peeking around the corner she had seen the exchange that followed and the brief hug Willow had given Giles that said more than a thousand words could. Tara’s eyes shone with tears of happiness, she had known how much Willow loved and respected her old teacher and how much this would mean to her. Tara had suspected Giles had hidden depths beneath the reserved image he projected to the outside world but even she was surprised at the strength of his affection and care for Willow, the bond between Giles and the young woman was clearly more familial than merely friendship and something special had just taken place.

The silence continued as both Giles and Willow found themselves alternately too embarrassed and too emotional to speak and so it was with some relief that they looked up at the sound of Tara’s return.

“Mr Giles,” Tara sensed that a little humour was needed to relieve the emotionally charged atmosphere, “you seem to have m-made Willow speechless, could you teach me how to do that?”

“Tara!” Willow protested in outrage, “it’s not like I talk all the time or at least, I do talk all the time but there is always so much to say and hey, since when did you not like listening to me?”

“I l-love listening to you,” Tara smiled at Willow’s pouty face, “I just couldn’t resist teasing you, you look so cute when you are offended.”

“Yes quite,” Giles interrupted with a cough.

Tara felt herself flush with embaressment, had she just called Willow cute in front of Mr Giles? “S-sorry Mr Giles, I didn’t mean..”

“No need to apologise,” Giles quickly interrupted, “and please don’t feel you have to watch what you say in my presence. I was just thinking that perhaps the two of you have better things to be doing today than visiting an out of work librarian, not that it isn’t appreciated, but I do believe Willow mentioned shopping.”

“Yes, shopping,” Willow exclaimed, seizing the opportunity to change the subject and enthused again as she recalled she had a very good reason for visiting the mall today.

“Well, don’t let me keep you,” Giles smiled and moved to open the door, “I know how much the storekeepers of Sunnydale look forward to your visit.”

“Goodbye Mr Giles,” Tara called out shyly as she ducked through the open door.

“Goodbye Tara,” Giles answered and then added softly so that only Tara would hear, “thank you, I have never seen Willow so happy.”

Tara stopped in her tracks as Willow motored past her but before she could even think of a reply Mr Giles had closed the door behind them.

“Tara, are you ok?” Willow asked with concern as she realised Tara was not following her.

“Yes,” Tara smiled and walked up to Willow, taking her hand and falling into step, “I feel pretty w-wonderful actually.”

……………………………………………………….

Tara took another sip from her tea and looked across the table to where Willow was bouncing in her seat, Mocha in one hand and wallet in the other. The trip around the mall had been fun and so as a reward she was allowing Willow one Mocha before they headed back to the dorms to get ready for their night out. One Mocha and then she was cutting her off, Willow was already dangerously hyperactive and the effects of too much caffeine did not bear thinking about, clearly Willow was slightly nervous about tonight and her system could do without any more artificial stimulants. Tara looked a little more closely and considered Willow’s state of mind, her eyes were flicking from side to side and she seemed to be anxious about something, anxious but not in a bad way she concluded.

“Bathroom,” Willow exclaimed, “I mean, I have to go to the..”

“Bathroom?”

“Yep, sorry, I won’t be long,” Willow flashed her a smile and slipped off her seat before practically running around the corner like a rocket shot from a bottle.

Tara smiled to herself as she watched Willow go, despite the anxiety she had sensed she was attuned enough to Willow’s moods to know that there was nothing to worry about. The feelings she had sensed were happy ones and she concluded that if it was anything important Willow would tell her in her own time. Tara set her tea back down on the table and then reached down to pick up one of the shopping bags from where it had toppled when Willow disturbed it in her haste to get up. The collection of bags was impressive, all of them Willow’s as Tara had little money to burn and wanted to keep what she had for tonight so that she would not have to rely on the charity of others if she wanted a drink. The bags contained several new shirts, two skirts, several books and various sundry items of make-up and bits and pieces that Willow had accumulated as she shopped with an enthusiasm and stamina that had left Tara breathless. There was also a pale blue shirt with a picture of a kitty on it which Willow had insisted on buying for Tara, explaining that it was a Miss Kitty shirt and Tara had to have it, Tara had relented even though she was unused to being bought gifts by anyone. Tara had tried to explain her discomfort, heightened as it was by the fact that her own limited budget meant she would not be able to buy anything in return, but Willow had merely assumed her resolve face and explained in a voice that brooked no argument that she was just going to have to get used to being bought gifts because she was worth it. Tara had blushed furiously at that point and so too had Willow but thinking about it now Tara felt her heart skip a beat at the obvious love in Willow’s eyes as they had spoken.

Tara had to admit she was almost as excited as Willow by the prospect of an evening at the Bronze, now that her doubts about the reaction of Willow’s friends to their relationship had been eased she was eager to share in what promised to be a special night for Willow. The plan was to head back to the dorms once they were done here and Willow had insisted that they separate briefly so that she could return to her own room to change for the evening, the implication was that she was planning on wearing something special and Tara was intrigued to see what Willow had in mind. The fact was Willow could have worn a garbage sack and Tara would still think she was beautiful but she could certainly appreciate the idea of Willow picking out an outfit just to please her. Glancing at her watch Tara calculated that they would need to be going soon if they wanted to have time to prepare without rushing, what could be taking Willow so long in the restroom?

Willow was not in the restroom, she was being sneaky and loving every second of it even as her heart pounded with the fear that Tara might not wait and come looking for her before she could accomplish her secret mission. The jewellery store was situated just a little way around the corner from the coffee bar and that was why Willow had chosen to stop there, knowing she could slip away under the pretence of using the bathroom and pick up the item she needed before Tara could grow too suspicious. On their first trip to the mall, back when they were pretending to just be friends, she had noticed in the window display of the jewellers a matched pair of Claddagh rings and she had immediately thought they would be perfect for the two of them if they ever did reach the point where they were together.

They were certainly together now and Willow just knew that the moment was right for this gesture, some token to confirm their love and commitment both to each other and to the outside world. Buffy had explained the symbolism of the Claddagh ring back when Angel had presented her with one for her seventeenth birthday and Willow had thought it was the most romantic thing she had ever heard, certainly in a world where there was no legal way to recognise her relationship with Tara it seemed especially perfect, as if the rings had been made for them. Willow hopped from one foot to the other, panicking that this was taking too long as the elderly jeweller slowly processed her transaction.

“Do you understand the symbolism of the rings?” The jeweller paused in the act of placing the rings in the gift box and looked enquiringly at Willow.

“Yes, yes,” Willow hopped even more anxiously, “a friend explained it to me a long time ago.”

“The ring worn on the right hand, crown turned inward tells your heart is yet unoccupied, worn with the crown turned outwards reveals love is being considered.” The old man paused, oblivious to the fact that Willow was not listening but holding out her hand for her purchase, desperate for him to hurry up so she get back to Tara without being discovered. “Worn on the left hand the crown turned outward shows all, your heart is truly spoken for.”

“I know,” Willow muttered as she checked her watch and then finally he was done and handing the gift box to her. Distractedly she murmured her thanks and then slipped the box into her jacket pocket before sprinting out of the store and back to the coffee bar and the table where Tara waited patiently.

“Willow,” Tara looked up in amusement as the redhead came to a screeching halt at their table, “why are you so out of b-breath?”

“I’m not,” Willow started to protest but hearing her own ragged breathing couldn’t keep up the act, “well I am but it’s not important,” picking up her Mocha she took a quick swallow and realised there was no more left. “Tara?” She looked across at her love, more in hope than expectation, but saw the steely gaze of take charge Tara looking back at her.

“No Willow, we agreed only one,” Tara laughed and her expression softened, “you know I hate to d-deny you anything, you have to stop giving me the p-puppy dog eyes, it’s not fair.”

“Alls fair in love and Mocha.” Willow retorted, wincing at her own bad joke. “So do you want to head out? We ought to be thinking about getting ready if we don’t want to be late.”

“Sure,” Tara stood as she spoke and picked up her share of Willow’s shopping bags, “you need anything else before we go?” Tara looked at the bags in both her hands and Willow’s and then added, “I guess not.”

“All shopped out,” Willow agreed, “lets just head home before my arms fall off,” she winced theatrically as she lifted her bags.

The girls walked along in silence as they headed for the most convenient exit, Tara a half pace behind Willow as she pondered what to wear for tonight. Willow was clearly making some special effort so should she do the same? On the one hand she felt obligated to match Willow but on the other she realised she had little variety in her wardrobe and this was only the Bronze after all. Wear what you are comfortable in she told herself, being around the gang would be stressful enough without making herself more uncomfortable by dressing out of character. Breaking from her reverie she noticed Willow’s steps falter momentarily and as she glanced up she caught Willow looking quickly at a window display before guiltily looking away, flashing a quick glance at Tara to see if she had been caught in the act Willow turned crimson with embaressment.

“Did you see something you like? Tara asked as she looked at the store and then felt her own blush as she realised what she was looking at.

“I um, see something, no I wasn’t,” Willow babbled incoherently as she Saw Tara’s eyes widen at the display in the Victoria’s Secret store.

“Willow,” Tara spoke as gently as she could, “it’s ok if you were looking, I mean if you like that stuff.”

“I don’t,” Willow protested a bit too fiercely, “I mean I didn’t but..”

“You changed your mind?” Tara asked, half amused and half embarrassed but curious to know the truth. “I mean, when we c-came here before you were looking in this store,” Tara recalled their previous trip to the mall and a similar guilty reaction from Willow.

“You saw?” Willow asked guiltily.

“I did,” Tara nodded.

“It’s not for me,” Willow spoke in a rush, “I mean how silly would I look and hey, no curves,” Willow was speaking too fast for Tara to interrupt, “but when we came before, I was just looking and I thought,” Willow’s blush deepened, “I thought about how you would look and now you caught me and you probably think I am some kind of weirdo.”

Tara couldn’t help laughing at Willow’s outburst but she realised too that she needed to handle this right, “Willow it’s ok to look.”

“It is?”

“D-Do you think I would mind?” Tara wanted to know.

“Well I thought, maybe,” Willow looked at Tara trying to gauge her mood, “I mean, you might be offended.”

“Offended because you have fantasies?” Tara took Willow’s hand in hers and spoke quietly to avoid being overheard by their fellow shoppers, “Willow, if you want to see me wearing something like that maybe you should just ask.”

“You mean?”

“I mean,” Tara gave Willow a seductive smile, “actually it’s k-kind of flattering.”

“Oh wow,” Willow’s eyes grew wide, “do we have to go out tonight?”

“We do,” Tara slipped her hand into Willow’s and tugged her in the direction of the exit, “but you are c-coming home with me after right?”

“Oh yes.”

……………………………………………………………………

Tara sat in the midst of the Scooby gang and listened to the flow of conversation as Willow’s friends teased and bantered with one another, straining to make themselves heard over the steady pulse of the music echoing through the Bronze. Tara felt slightly dazed to be sitting here, with Willow’s hand in hers, joining in the ritual teasing and partying which seemed to be the Scooby way of blowing off steam after averting the apocalypse. Tara had been feeling dazed from the moment Willow had picked her up from her dorm room, they had separated briefly to head to their separate rooms to change for the evening and Willow had arrived wearing a pair of green leather pants that made Tara feel dizzy in a very pleasurable way. Willow had clearly remembered Tara’s reaction when they had discussed leather outfits before and she took great delight in parading around Tara’s room before they left, Tara had found herself echoing Willow’s earlier sentiments about whether they really did need to go out tonight but now she was very glad that they had come.

“Who needs another drink,” Xander asked as he stood up from the table and was greeted by a chorus of me, me from the assembled ladies.

“What’s got you so generous Xander,” Willow asked, “this is the third time you have offered already.”

“Least I can do,” Xander chuckled, “my reputation with the regulars here is sky high thanks to you, I mean here I am, the only guy sitting at a table with four beauties, I am a legend at the bar.”

“So they think we are your harem?” Willow arched her eyebrows dangerously, “you feel like slaying Buffy?”

“Nah,” Buffy chuckled, “if the guys in here can’t tell we are way out of Xander’s league then that’s their problem.”

“Ok, way to hurt my pride Buff,” Xander huffed, “keep it up and I am going to scratch you off my dance card.”

“Oh no,” Buffy exclaimed in mock horror, “you know how much I love the graceful way you step on my toes. Whatever will I do?”

“I’ll dance with you,” Anya offered with a laugh, “might be fun to dance with someone who actually has rhythm.”

“Ok, now I am starting to think being outnumbered is not a good thing,” Xander complained, “is this everybody pick on Xander night?”

“You aren’t outnumbered really,” Willow spoke with mock solemnity, “in fact we all think you are totally one of the girls.”

“Ok, ok, I am going to the bar,” Xander held up his hands in mock surrender, “my ego can’t take anymore of this, Anya, come be my drink carrying buddy?”

Tara watched as Anya hopped off her stool and followed Xander over to the bar, she couldn’t help liking the young man, he seemed comfortable with his friendship with both Willow and Buffy and unlike so many men, Riley for one, he didn’t appear to resent the fact that the two girls were more powerful than he was. Glancing back to the girl beside her she caught Willow staring at her and dropped her eyes in shyness, a blush rising as she realised Buffy was sitting right there watching the glances they exchanged.

“Am I making you uncomfortable?”

Tara looked up in surprise as Buffy spoke, had the Slayer realised she was feeling a little embarrassed? “I um..”

“Don’t be,” Buffy grinned, “I think you two look great together.”

“Thanks Buff,” Willow smiled at her friend, “I think she looks great too.”

Tara didn’t know how to respond to that comment and so she was relieved when a moment later a slow song came on and Willow tugged at her hand, “will you dance with me?”

“Sure,” Tara slipped off the stool and gave Buffy a nervous smile as she followed Willow onto the dance floor, they had not danced to a slow song together in public before and she wondered what kind of reaction they might provoke. Willow turned to face her as they reached the dance floor and as Tara felt Willow’s arms wrap around her she realised that actually she didn’t care what anyone else thought, she just wanted to enjoy this moment of closeness like any young woman in love.

“Wow, they look good together.”

Buffy looked up to see Xander staring at the two girls on the dance floor as he set the drinks on the table. “Yes they do,” she nodded her assent, “I mean, look at the way they look at one another, it’s like nobody else is here.”

“I know what you mean,” Xander commented as he took his seat, “Willow has hardly taken her eyes off Tara all night, I think it might be love.”

“Of course it is,” Anya interjected as she sat alongside him, “even you ought to be able to see that, they are made for each other.”

“You really think so?”

“Yes,” chorused Anya and Buffy together, “think about it Xander,” Buffy continued, “you know Willow better than any of us, can’t you see how right this is? I think this is the happiest I have ever seen her.”

“You’re right,” Xander conceded, “that is one happy little Willow out there, I guess I just can’t believe I never knew this about her.”

“I don’t think Willow knew until she met Tara,” Buffy reflected, “I think she just needed to meet the right girl.”

“I like her,” Anya spoke up again, “I don’t see why Xander is acting all surprised, the magazines under his bed are full of pictures of girls together.”

“You looked under my bed,” Xander asked aghast, “I mean, what magazines? Somebody else must have left them there.”

“You are not going to have a problem with this are you Xander?” Buffy asked, sparing Xander any further embaressment about his choice of reading material, “I mean, this is a good thing that is happening for Willow, you do get that right?”

“I get that,” Xander smiled, “sure I wigged at first but then I don’t think I was the only one. I love Willow, she is my best friend and if Tara makes her happy then that is more than good enough for me.”

“Have you told her?” Buffy pressed the point.

“Well, not in so many words,” Xander shrugged, “she knows I think Tara is great, we spoke about it when we went bowling.”

“But you didn’t know they were dating then,” Buffy pointed out, “Willow needs to know how you feel, this is the most important thing that has ever happened to her and you are her oldest friend, she was terrified that she might lose you, lose all of us when we found out.”

“That’s crazy,” Xander blurted out, “I can’t imagine ever falling out with Willow, she is closer to me than my family.”

“Then tell her that, you don’t have to understand just believe me when I tell you this matters to her.”

“What matters to who?” Willow asked, arriving at the end of the conversation.

“What, oh nothing,” Buffy covered up hastily, “hey Will, how come you stopped dancing?”

“You need to ask,” Willow mimed covering her ears as Buffy registered that the music had switched again to some overly histrionic nu-metal band.

“Oh right,” Buffy nodded, “not suitable for smooching huh?”

“We weren’t smooching,” Willow protested.

“You were,” Xander interjected, “and why wouldn’t you when you have such a hot girlfriend to smooch with.”

“Xander!”

“Tell me I am wrong,” Xander laughed, “Tara is pretty smoochable and I know what that look in your eyes means, I recognise the signs of Willow bitten by the love bug.”

“He’s got you there Will,” Buffy grinned, “you never were any good at hiding your feelings, especially from us.”

“Ok, there may have been some smooching,” Willow conceded as she stole a glance at Tara who was blushing furiously, “but can we please change the subject now?”

“Sure, actually Will I want to ask you something,” Xander began as the music changed again to something a lot more agreeable, “can I get the next dance?”

“Um ok,” Willow looked surprised but took Xander’s hand as he led her out onto the dance floor and the two fell into their usual habit of exaggerating their lack of rhythm for their own amusement.

The song finished and Willow turned to walk back to the table but halted as she saw Anya deep in conversation with Tara. Anya was talking animatedly and something she said caused Tara to laugh out loud, Willow was struck once again by just how beautiful Tara looked, especially when she was happy as she was right now. Willow realised that for the first time she could recall she found herself warming to Anya, anyone who could make her Tara laugh could not be all bad, Tara had indicated that she thought Willow had misjudged Anya and perhaps she was right.

“She looks beautiful Will.” She had forgotten Xander was standing right next to her.

“Yes she does.”

“It’s not about how she looks though is it,” he continued, “this is the real thing, like how it’s supposed to be in your dreams.”

“It is,” Willow agreed happily, “I don’t know how to explain it Xander but she is everything I have been looking for.”

“I know, I didn’t get it right away but I can see now that you two are perfect for each other.”

“You think so?”

“I know so Will, she is crazy about you and I have never seen you happier,” Xander gave Willow’s shoulder an affectionate squeeze as he continued, “I want you to know how happy I am for you.”

“I hoped you would be,” Willow smiled at Xander, “and you really do like Tara?”

“I pretty much love her Will,” Xander was surprised at the emotion in his own voice, “she makes my best friend happier than I have ever seen her so that makes her pretty wonderful in my book.”

“She is wonderful Xander,” Willow felt a rush of affection for the young man who had been such a big part of her life, “I am just so glad that everyone I care about seems to get that.”

The two stood in silence for a few moments, slightly overwhelmed by the emotions they were feeling until Xander, uncomfortable as ever when things turned serious, decided it was time to change the mood. “Hey will, I just thought of something.”

“Huh, what’s that?”

“Well, looking at Tara,” Xander began with a grin that gave away his intent to tease, “she has the blonde hair, the great figure and I was wondering…does this explain why you used to tape Baywatch?”

“Xander!” Willow punched his arm in mock outrage even though she knew he was only being true to his nature, using humour to conceal his true emotions.

“I was only asking,” Xander whined, “and by the way, ow.”

Willow was no longer listening though as she walked back over to the table and the woman she loved.

………………………………………………………………

Willow slipped her hand into her jacket pocket for the hundredth time as Tara pushed open the door to her room, her fingers brushing the velvet of the gift box that she had brought with her for this moment. She followed Tara into the room and pushed the door closed behind her, revelling as she always did in the sensation of being here alone with Tara in their private world.

“Good night sweetie?”

“Best night,” Willow confirmed, “although I hope it isn’t over yet.”

“Oh, it’s n-not over,” Tara slid her arms around Willow’s waist, “I have been waiting to get you alone all night.”

“Well, you got me,” Willow hugged Tara and they shared a brief kiss before she continued, “but first there is something I have to do.”

“What is it?” Tara sensed the slight nervousness emanating from Willow but was also aware of an overwhelming feeling of love directed toward her.

“I want you to know how serious I am about us, what we have together,” Willow explained, “I love you completely and I wanted to find a way to show you,” she slipped her hand into her pocket and pulled out the box, “I hope you don’t think I am presuming too much but I bought something today, something that says I love you when I am not there to tell you myself.”

“Willow you d-don’t need to buy..”

“Tara, I know I don’t need to buy you things, I know you would never ask for anything from me but this is something that I want you to have, I want us to have actually,” Willow looked pleadingly into Tara’s eyes, “please open the box.”

Tara took the box from Willow, trying to still the shaking in her hand as she wondered just what Willow could have bought and how she could ever repay the gesture. With trembling fingers she flipped open the lid of the box and saw the matched pair of rings nestled on the velvet lining, the gold reflecting in the light as she felt her eyes fill with tears of happiness. “Willow, they are so b-beautiful.”

“Do you know what they symbolise?” Willow asked softly, she had guessed that Tara would know, her interest in Celtic history and mythology was one of the first things Willow had learned about her.

“I do,” Tara nodded, “the Claddagh ring worn on the left hand,” she took one of the rings from the box and placed it on the ring finger of Willow’s left hand, “with the heart pointing inward and the crown outward,” she slid the ring along Willow’s finger as Willow picked up the second ring with her free hand.

“Means your heart is truly spoken for.” Willow slipped the second ring onto Tara’s ring finger and as she finished leaned in and captured Tara’s lips in a kiss that felt timeless in its perfection.

Breaking contact for a moment Willow whispered softly, “my heart is yours forever.”

“Forever and always,” Tara answered and she knew it to be true.

_________________
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 Dec 04, 2005 7:55 pm 
Offline
5. Willowhand

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:03 pm
Posts: 325
Awww. That was a wonderful ending to this story. It tied everything up nicely. I am happy to see that you have expanded upon the gang's acceptance of Willow and Tara as a couple. Well written and sweet. Thank you for sharing this story. I hope to see more from you in the future, be it a sequel to this story or something new.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 10:00 pm 
Offline
19. Yummy Face

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:40 pm
Posts: 2934
Location: Raleigh, NC
You definitely do a good job tying up all the loose ends in this story. The ending is beautiful.

_________________
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: Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:01 am 
Offline
17. Mega-Witches
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Posts: 2538
Location: USA
RaspberryHats, congratulations on finishing your fic, and can I just say what a pleasure it was to read! This last update was fantastic - I loved seeing what happened after "Restless" because it never seemed to me that that story had much in the way of closure or resolution. Which was, I guess, the point.

Such a sweet interaction at Giles' house, and I loved how Willow plotted to surprise Tara with claddagh rings.

I laughed out loud when I read this line:

Quote:
One Mocha and then she was cutting her off, Willow was already dangerously hyperactive and the effects of too much caffeine did not bear thinking about


"dangerously hyperactive" - a wonderful turn of the phrase. And I loved that Tara caught Willow looked at the Victoria's Secret display - it was so sweet when she said this:

Quote:
“Willow, if you want to see me wearing something like that maybe you should just ask.”


The phrasing of that sentence, coming from Tara, is both totally sweet and totally sexy.

The gang's conversation at the Bronze was SO REAL - I felt like I was watching the show or something. Great job with that. And great job with the whole story - just fabulous.

_________________
Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:46 am 
Offline
15. Apple Sauce & Tuna
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:03 am
Posts: 2188
Location: Nottingham, England
That was incredibly sweet and a beautiful ending :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: Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:05 am 
Offline
23. Volumey Text
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 3714
Location: Chesterfield
That was a great ending to a great story.

I liked the conversations at Giles' house and then at the Bronze.

I really enjoyed being able to read the missing bits from S4. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

_________________
02/28/2007


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:48 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:59 pm
Posts: 871
Location: Germany
A truly perfect ending to such a beautiful story.
I've always loved the innocence of S4 and you captured everything so very nicely in this piece.
Thanks for sharing with us.

_________________
"I don't get your crazy system!"
"System? It's called the alphabet!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Between The Lines
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:50 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:50 pm
Posts: 225
Location: québec, canada
Once again, all i can say is : Wow.

You did an awesome job with the 'missing parts' from the show and I would totally watch that on tape any day. But reading it was really nice too :) Hope you keep writing, you just got that one spark I really love in W/T fics and I wanna see it again :)

_________________
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: Wed Dec 07, 2005 4:14 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:58 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Next to Jenny
Some feedback as promised. I have to say that the feedback has far exceeded my expectations and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has posted in this thread. I apologise if I have been slack in responding, my only excuse is that having posted the first two chapters I basically only had a blank page in front of me and so all of my spare time has been spent on finishing what I started.

SallyMcFine I loved your story so I very much appreciate all of your comments, I hope posting feedback for me is not delaying the sequel to Ubercon 05. I am glad you picked out that line from Tara, I wanted to use that to demonstrate how despite her shyness and insecurtity she feels comfortable in her relationship with Willow. We all tend to have a negative image of ourselves but when someone really loves you then it is possible to believe that they find you sexy even if you don't generally think of yourself that way.

The Mocha addiction is another favourite of mine, personally season 6 would have been more believable if Willow's addiction had been to caffiene. I think Extra Frothy Willow would have been far cooler than Dark Magic Willow.

I am especially glad that you liked the conversation with the gang at the Bronze. I started writing this story mainly as practice for another story I wanted to write and my biggest doubts were over whether I could write dialogue in a believable way. I feel more confident now thanks to the feedback I have received but I still struggle with characters I can't relate to such as Riley.

Krokador I promise to keep writing, in fact I have already begun something new and I hope you will like it. Now where is Chapter two of your fic?

justin Thanks for the comments and again I am thrilled that the dialogue has been received so well. I struggled a bit with the scene at Giles apartment so I am glad you enjoyed it. I did fear I had made him too sentimental but personally I have always felt that beneath his carefully maintained image he was the most sentimental member of the gang. I always thought Tony Head did a great job of portraying just how much Giles cared for the Scoobys with just an expression or a gesture and I wanted to bring that out in his interaction with Willow.

Willow~Rosenberg I wanted to write a Chapter about the gangs acceptance of Willow because I felt that was something that we really got sold short on in the show. The only real moment on screen was the brief conversation with Buffy as they are breaking into the Initiative and so I thought it was only right to end the story by expanding on this.

Everybodyelsethatposted Thank you for all your kind words :blush

To finish off I ought to answer the many comments about what might come next and also apologise to anyone who was expecting this story to continue beyond season four. In re-reading my initial introduction to Chapter One I realise that it is a bit vague about how far this story was going to go.

I am writing something else, the story I was initially wanting to tell before deciding to write this first as practice. I won't be posting any of it for a while as I have learnt the hard way with this story that it is not a good idea to post chapters as you write them as you are constantly facing the pressure of a blank page when you do that and you have no room for manouvere if writers block bites or real life stops you writing for a few days. I intend getting a good few chapters in the bag first and then I can be certain updates will be constant even if I hit a few rocks in the road.

Without giving too much away the next story starts in Season 6 at the end of Tabula Rasa and will deviate from cannon in a big way from that point. Willow is not going to become a magic junkie (yay) but she is going to go to a very dark place, the angst warning for the story is high although the ending I have planned is very hollywood and upbeat. The story is fairly huge in scope, think Sidestep Chronice for an idea of length, and at present includes all of the characters from both Buffy and Angel. The story takes place over a period of around seven years and will take a very long time to reach it's conclusion as I want to explore the characters in detail along the way. I hope you will like 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 - Complete
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:06 pm 
Offline
1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:57 pm
Posts: 8
Wow. This is the best of the behind the scenes season 4 stories. It was so good that I started reading it again from the beginning after I finished it.

I think Tabula Rasa is an intriguingly open point of departure from the series, so I'm looking forward to reading what you write next.


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:  
cron

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