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

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:11 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:19 pm
Posts: 315
Location: The Netherlands
WillowRulez - Thanks. We're all sick of the E/D lesbian cliche, so we might as well make fun of it. :) I might have made Lindsey go over the top a little... which could be attributed to my personal aversion to lawyers.

Spike (in this story) might be an ass, but he has limits. And Faith would always back up Tara, no matter what.

Our hamburgers are apparently really tiny compared to some of the american models. I keep hearing that from friends who regularly go to the States. They also keep telling me that Starbucks coffee is like toxic waste.

Now I know. Isn't that simular to the german word for tail having a double meaning? (Heh, I know that from watching the german version of Life of Brain)

Inlerf - Thanks. It was the most light-weight part of the story, I believe.

Yeah, Spike is an ass... but he's an honest ass. :) Hm, excerpts of Spike tutoring Faith might not be a bad idea. I'll see if I can find some space to work it in. Thanks!

_________________
Max : Do you mind if I drive?
Sam : Not if you mind me clawing at the dashboard and shrieking like a cheerleader.


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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:15 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:19 pm
Posts: 315
Location: The Netherlands
Hello Kittens!

Yeah, a new chapter quite close to the posting of the previous one. Now, usually, if I'm ahead with my chapters, I put the new chapter in the icebox for a week or so. Not this time, though, because, in retrospect, I'm no really all that happy with how the last two chapters came out, considering the tone of the rest of the story. Those were a bit too dark, I think. So I posted this part ahead of schedule to get the original feeling of the overal series back. This part is more humorous and light-hearted again, as well as a bit saccharine. :) I hope you'll like it.

Title - Don't fear the Reaper.

Chapter 26 : A modest proposal.

Author name - Useful_Oxymoron

Email Address - Viernadevir@hotmail.com

Rating - PG-13. humor about death isn't everybody's cup of tea. Tara ends up having a bit of an owie at the end, but all ends well.

Disclaimer - Well, I don't own Willow or Tara. And if I did, I'd set them free.

Feedback- Is cool. It's always nice to know somebody liked the crap I write.

Summary- Willow, Tara and the gang are travelling to Seattle to stay with Willow's uncle Hershel. But why is Willow so nervous?

Notes- Influences for this story: The wonderful film The Frighteners (which everybody should see), lightly Dead Like Me, Terry Pratchett and the Blue Oyster Cult.

Reference material :

http://oldcomputers.net
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle
The song Dawn mentioned is from the DeathStars CD Synthetic Generation.

[hr]
"Remember," Tara said. "This is my cellphone number. You can call me whenever you need help, but, uh, don't call me too much. I'm on leave, after all."

Her temporary replacement, a young slip of a girl, freshly out of her apprenticeship, nodded meekly. "Y-yes, ma'am."

"Hey," Tara laid her hand on the girl's shoulder and squeezed slightly. "You're going to do fine. Your hotel-room is booked for the next 10 days. Sunnydale is a quiet place, much less hectic than LA. You'll like it here/"

The girl smiled briefly and nodded again, apparently somewhat calmed down. Tara said her goodbyes, and left the girl in the expresso-pump to join Faith outside.

"That's your temp replacement?" Faith asked while the two of them hit the pavement and made their way to Revello Drive underneath the morning sun. "How old is she?"

"15," Tara replied. "Barely out of her training cloak. Poor thing, she's so nervous. This is her first unsupervised assignment."

"I talked to Gunn, he'll be taking care of my duties here while we're gone," Faith replied. "He's pretty laid-back, so I doubt he'll give her any problems."

Tara and Faith rounded around the corner, already having reached Revello Drive. Casa de Summers was still a few minutes away, but a walk was invigorating. The neighborhood was slowly waking up. Two joggers passed them, a few people came out to fetch their newspapers and one terrified mail-man was being chased by a snarling german shepard. "Hm, were we ever that young, Faith?"

"Yep," Faith grinned when the Summers SUV came into view. Xander, Buffy and Dawn were loading in the luggage while Anya was giving (seemingly useless) directions.

"Hey," Faith greeted, and handed her backpack to Xander to have it loaded into the trunk. "Are we ready to go?"

"Just a minute!" Willow called over before turning back to Joyce. "Thanks for taking care of my fish while I'm away."

"Not a problem, though... why you handed me a twelve page feeding schedule is beyond me. I take care of your fish every year, and nothing ever goes wrong, Willow," Joyce raised an eyebrow.

Willow smiled at her and then pointed at the schedule. "It's not so much for the fish as for me. Gives me peace of mind, you know. I know my fishies are safe with you."

"Thanks for taking care of Buffy, too," Faith said while kneeling down in front of her mastiff. She petted and hugged her dog, while she licked Faith's face enthusiastically. "Ew, dogbreath." Faith giggled.

Tara and Faith were the last ones to enter the car. This year, Willow would be driving the car to Seattle. Officially, because it would be a good way for Willow to gain some on-the-road driving experience. Unofficially, it was because Buffy scared the bejesus out of everyone the last time she drove to Seattle.

And so the friends started their road trip from Sunnydale to Seattle. And, as Tara quickly found out, Willow having a driver's license was not 100% a good thing. For one thing, it meant no more backseat hugs and/or smoochies, because she was in the backseat and Willow was allllll the way in the driver's seat, so close and yet so far away. And since Xander traditionally rode shotgun, there wouldn't be any illicit front-seat smoochies while driving either.

Tara jealously regarded the neatly intertwined Buffy and Faith and decided to focus her attention on helping Dawn, who was using Willow's laptop to work on her latest story.

Looking at Willow, she could still see that her girlfriend was giddy. Two weeks back, Willow had been chosen to participate in a highly coveted university sponsored internship at a computer company of her choice. Thanks to her dedication and, let's face it, undoubted brilliance, Willow had been approached by head-hunters of a few major international companies, but between the many offered portfolios, Willow had found a relatively small, but local company. Though they weren't able to offer her as much money as, well, basically all the other companies, they were the ones who offered her the most freedom, both personal and creative. Besides, all the time she would otherwise lose to commuting, she could now spend as extra Tara-time. A good thing.

Halfway through the trip, the gang decided to stop over in the least dingy looking roadside motel to spend the night. After enjoying a quick bite in the nearest truck-stop, the gang made use of the motel pool before turning in to the mind.

Unfortunately, Dawn didn't end up having a good night. Though she was eager to have her own private room, the motel actually had very, very thin walls and her neighbors didn't exactly have sleep on their minds. And, as Dawn found out, the combination of being in a motel with thin walls and having the room sandwiched in between Xander and Anya's and Buffy and Faith's, was not a very good one.

At some point during the night, Dawn had decided to take her revenge: if she wouldn't be able to sleep, nobody could. She waited until the couples next to her were reasonably spent, locked her door and then turned up her favorite CD to the highest volume. And thus her friends had spent 15 minutes banging on the door until Dawn turned down the music. The entire happening left Willow to wonder when Dawn had stopped listening to sugary 'My Little Pony' soundtracks and swapped those for hardcore scandinavian death metal.

The next day, Dawn was the most self-satisfied of the lot sitting in the back of the car, while the others seemed a bit more tired than usual.

"Dawn?" Willow asked from behind the wheel, while Faith, Buffy and Xander were fast asleep. "It's rapture, it's pain, it's bodies bleeding in the rain? I'm the god of loss and pain?"

Dawn shrugged. "I like the beat."

It was almost evening when the gang hit Seattle. Tara had never been here before, but she felt the city had a different, more welcoming atmosphere than L.A. The Space Needle was looming in the distance while Willow drove along Elliot Bay and headed towards a coastal strip.

"You'll love it here, Tara," Willow said. "Uncle Hershel lives near the Aquarium and the Pike Place Marketplace. I look forward to this trip all year, you know? Oh, we're almost there?"

"Are we there yet?" Dawn yawned on cue, shaking the others awake.

Willow pulled the car into the driveway in front of a big two-story house with a big lawn and what looked like a large yard filled with trees and shrubs, giving the house a peaceful and serene look to it. A light turned on in the vestibule, and out stepped a portly man with oversized glasses and a friendly, welcoming smile.

"How's my favorite niece?" the man greeted and took the red-head in a massive bear-hug.

"I'm your only niece, uncle Hershel," Willow hugged him back. "Aunt Jennifer!" Willow squealed and fell into the arms of a raven haired lady with an equally welcoming smile.

"Hey, there!" Xander greeted while he and the girls came carrying their luggage.

"Xander, Buffy, Dawn good to see you again," Hershel chuckled. "Oh, and two new visitors I see," he said as Faith and Tara walked up to the porch. While Jennifer helped the others get to their rooms to get rid of their luggage, Willow took Tara by the hand.

"Uncle Hershel, this is my Tara," Willow said. "Tara, this is my uncle Hershel."

"Ah, so this is Tara," he said. Tara flinched when the kindly man actually hugged, but she feel quite welcome. "Willow told me a lot about you."

A window opened on the second floor. "Tara denies everything!" Dawn called down.

"Hey!" Willow pouted. "I resent that!"

"Come on inside," Hershel wrapped an arm around Willow's shoulder. "Dinner's on the table."

---

Tara, like the others, were hanging on Hershel's lips as he was telling his stories over dinner. He was a warm, kind man with a great sense of humor, and had set out to make Willow and her friends feel right at home.

Willow had told her that Hershel had found out quite early on that his brother's daughter was often left alone to the point of neglect, and had offered Willow to spent Hanukkah with him so she could receive the attention she deserved. Young Willow quite enjoyed her time and soon it had turned into an annual tradition. Eventually, two years in a row, Willow had spent all summer with her uncle Hershel and aunt Jennifer, until her mother had put a stop to it, claiming it was bad for Willow psyche. The tradition of celebrating Hanukka in Seattle stood, however. In fact, Hershel never minded that Willow brought along friends. Xander was the first to join Willow on their trip, and so did Buffy and Dawn after Willow and Buffy had become friends in highschool. And now, Anya, Tara and Faith were the newcomers.

Hershel, a rabbi active for the Reform Judaism movement and a professional political activist, had millions of funny stories to tell, and he was well into a fifth tale while Tara was tasting one of Jennifer's latka's.

"... and so that skinhead just stood there looking angry... which was easy for him because he was bald, stupid and only had one eyebrow," Hershel regaled.

"Oh, yeah, sure sign of stupidity," Xander confirmed. "What kind of person thinks it's a good idea to tattoo a swastika on his own cheek with some ink and a stiletto?"

"Well, tattoos are expensive," Anya said. "Maybe he was just trying to save some money... which is a noble thing in itself, mind you."

"I suppose," Hershel shrugged. "But then that skinhead just shook his fist and called me an F-word Jew."

"Whoa," Dawn blinked. "Did you call the police?"

"Are you kidding? I punched his lights out with an impressing F-word uppercut," Hershel shook with laughter. "I swear, he rocked around like a tree about to fall down. So he hits the pavement face-first. Luckily for him, his fall was broken by fresh dog droppings, so his forehead wasn't all that hurt."

Faith applauded briefly. She was, after all, a fan of poetic justice.

"Seriously, kids," Hershel took both Willow and Tara's hand. "Don't ever let them tell you that your relationship is wrong. Remember the word of God : If thou speaketh and spread hatred in my Name, I shallt come down from the very Heavens and personally kick thine dumb arse from here to Milan!"

"I don't remember that from the Bible," Buffy scratched her head. "But I did only have the illustrated version. The one where Gabriel has the fold-out wings."

"Ach," Hershel smirked. "God's a busy man, you know? And he can't be expected to get all the details right. But I'm sure he would have put that in every holy book there is, if he had gotten around to it."

"I feel so welcome here," Tara said sincerely. "Thanks for having us over."

"Not a problem," Hershel smiled. "I'm just happy that Willow has wonderful friends... and that my idiot brother's finally seen the light and decided to spend some of his precious time with his daughter. And, Sheila, well..."

Tara heard Hershel mutter something in Yiddish. Though Tara couldn't make out much of it, she could clearly hear the word 'meshuggener'.

---

A few hours later, most people had gone to bed, leaving only Willow, Faith and Tara sitting on the porch, chatting softly before going to bed. However, the peaceful ambiance was disturbed by Tara's cellphone.

"Okay, Rosella, calm down," Tara spoke softly into her phone. "Take a few deep breaths, alright? It's gonna be okay."

Willow watched Tara listening to the girl on the phone for a moment, but even from a distance, it was obvious the girl was quite distraught.

"What happened?" Faith asked.

Tara covered her phone with her hand. "Shotgun Divorce," she whispered.

"On her first day?" Faith replied. "Ouch."

"Shotgun Divorce?" Willow asked.

"Yeah," Faith shrugged. "Man killing wife or woman killing husband. Murder always leaves a strong emotional imprint on the environment. Can really mess up an unprepared Reaper."

"Okay, Rosella," Tara whispered. "You have to calm down. You can't help the soul if you're not calmed down. That'll make the feelings you're having go away. Sssssh, just sit down, take a few deep breaths. You'll be fine," she told her replacement, and covered her phone again. "Guys, I'll be back in a bit. I'll have to talk her through this.

"Ah, time to turn in," Faith shrugged while Tara whispered into her phone. "B's probably waiting for me."

---

After a long, relaxing night's sleep, the gang was ready to do what every visitor to Seattle does : playing tourist. While Hershel and Jennifer took Xander, Anya and Dawn to the aquarium, Willow had opted for the recently opened Computer Museum.

Located in a large hall, the museum housed all manner of ancient and new computers, often in working condition. Faith and Buffy had tagged along for the ride. Even before they had entered the museum, Willow was glued to the display window outside the ticketbooth, intent on studying the ancient computer within. Tara wrapped her arms around Willow's waist and gently pulled her free... the word 'velcro' came to mind.

"Oh... my... god..." Willow gasped when they entered nerd-heaven. "Look at that! Look at that! It's a MITS Altair 8800! It even has the original 8 inch floppy drive! God, I want one! OOOH! It's an IBM portable 5100! That one cost 20000 dollars, weighs 55 pounds and had all of 1.9 Mhz of CPU speed and 16K ram. Just check out that built-in 5 inch screen! Look! It's a Radio Shack Pocket Computer! Oh, and there's a Commodore VIC-20."

"I think we broke her," Faith scratched her head. "I'm gonna check out the gaming consoles later."

Tara was happy that her girlfriend was... deliriously happy, in fact, but Buffy already looked bored.

The computers in the museum were mostly behind glass, but some were set up for use by the visitors. And in one wing of the museum gaming consoles of yesteryear were set up for immediate play. Tara decided to keep Buffy company in the restaurant, and Willow was off.

---

Willow roamed from display case to display case, making sure to take everything in. She was convinced that, if there was a heaven, this is what it must look like. Faith was always one step behind her, giving the computers an interested, yet more cursory glance.

"Ahum," she heard behind her. Willow frowned and turned around.

In front of her stood a stereotypical nerd, complete with taped glasses, pocket-protector, overbite and greasy black hair. "Well, hello there, little lady," he grinned, making Willow feel slightly uncomfortable when his eyes roamed across her body... and not exactly looking her in the eye when he talked to her. "So, like this little machine, ey? Well, I know all about it. Allow me to..."

"Actually, I already know," Willow crossed her arms in front of her chest, blocking the nerd's view. "This is an Apple Lisa, with a 5 Mhz Motorola 68000 CPU core, 1 megabyte of ram and a twelve inch monochrome monitor built in. Check out the 5 meg external harddrive, same size as the whole computer. This is known to be the first commercially available computer with a Graphic User Interface, and the first to make proper use of a mouse. Should I go on, fellah?"

When Willow had finished her story, the nerd stared at her with open mouth while Willow smirked in victory. The nerd blinked... and blinked again.

"Red," Faith chuckled. "I think you just gave this dude an orgasm."

"Ewwww," Willow made a face.

Soon enough, the nerd was joined by two equally nerdy boys. "Hey," spoke the first nerd. "This red-haired girl's in the zone, guys. She's one of us!"

"Not bloody likely," Faith snickered.

"So, uh," grinned the head-nerd. "Uh, how'd you come over to our flat. We've got a whole room filled with the latest and most impressive hardware. Heh, do you like that baby? That we have hardware?" his eyebrows moved suggestively. "The lastest and most impressive hardware."

"Hard!" giggled one of the nerds.

"Yeah," said the first nerd. "Maybe she'd like it if we run her software on our big oversized hardware."

Willow sighed heavily and turned to Faith. "Ugh, you see, this is why I always pretend to be a guy when I post on the hardware forums."

"Come on, sweetie," slurred the head nerd. "I've got Nvidia sized hardware, babe! You'll need TWO molex connectors to keep us going!"

"Hey!" Willow retorted angrily. "There's only one person in the world who can call me sweetie, and you ain't her, fellah! So you might as well quit while you're ahead or I'll get really angry and you won't like me when I get really angry."

"Her?!" the lead nerd blinked.

"Whoa! So you're a..."

"That is so HOT!"

"Does your girlfriend like to configure your software? I bet she does..."

Willow fumed for a moment, then turned around. "That's it, I'm leaving."

"And I'm laughing at the silly virgins," Faith chuckled while she joined Willow.

"HEY!" called the head nerd after them. "Send us naked pictures!"

---

"Ah, an Amiga 2000," sounded a voice next to Willow. Glancing over her shoulder, she could see it was another guy. He didn't seem to be a nerd, but then again, everybody inside the museum was a nerd by default. "Brings back memories."

"Never had one," Willow replied. "I made the switch to PC after my Commodore 64."

"Call me a romantic, but I fondly remember my Amiga," he grinned. "Hi, name's Grant."

"Hi, I'm Willow."

He was tall, wore glasses, but seemed to be more respectful than the guys she had just met.

"I had a 386 after my Commodore 64," Willow replied. "Moved on to a 486 a year later."

"Heh, I tried to run Doom on my old 386," Grant replied. "I had to overclock my memory and CPU to make it run respectably, though."

"Me too!" Willow grinned. "Ah, back in the days before jumperless mainboards and failsafes."

"I know," Grant smirked. "You haven't lived until you've fried at least one mainboard in your life."

"Oh, too true."

"Say, would like to join me for lunch at the restaurant? We could share some more anecdotes."

"Thanks, but I'm already spoken for," Willow replied.

"Too bad. It was worth a shot," Grant shrugged.

---

Sitting in the restaurant, looking over the museum's floor below, Tara and Buffy were looking for their girlfriends. Sitting in a chair with a seat shaped like an old 5 1/4 inch floppy disk and at a table shaped like an oversized CD-rom, they were certainly in the computer mood.

"We're not loving this, are we?" Buffy asked.

"Nope," Tara smiled. "Computers intimidate me. And being in a building filled to the brim with computers... Well..."

"I gotcha," Buffy replied. "I just hope the food is good. Just what the hell is Intel-flavored icecream?"

"I'm more worried about the Microsoft Goulash," Tara said. "Buffy, can I ask you a question?"

"Shoot."

"Does Willow seem... jittery to you?"

Buffy frowned. "What do you mean?"

"I mean... she just seems really nervous. She has been all week before we left. Now, there's the internship, the whole trip, driving across country... visiting this museum, so I understand her being nervous but... I know Willow and she's... Is there something wrong? Is there something going on that I should know about?"

Buffy seemed stricken... and actually gulped. "Well, uh, Tare, I, uh, she's probably nervous because of all those reasons you said and... well, she's Willow, so she gets nervous easily. So, uh, I shouldn't worry about it. There's nothing going on at all, nothing. Nope. Nada. Absolutely zilch."

Tara was even more worried now.

"You know, I never expected Faith to be a tech-head," Buffy said, changing the subject in a most spectacular way. Tara however, was grateful to avoid an awkward moment.

"Oh, Faith is more into gadgetry and game consoles and there are plenty of those down there. Did you know that Faith was one of the first people in the US to own a tamagotchi?"

"No," Buffy replied.

"Oh, yeah. She got the first Furby too. She actually punched and kicked her way through kids and their parents at the toyshop to get one of those things for herself. Faith always had the most fun with the tamagotchi, though. She was always coming up with new ways to kill it."

A waitress, dressed in a weird hat shaped like a CPU cooler, stepped up to them. "May I take your order?"

"Yeah, uhm, I'll have the Macintosh steak with a side order of Vista fries. Oh, and a small coffee," Tara replied.

"Oh, I'm feeling lucky. I'll just go with the Linux surprise."

---

Ironically, the part of the museum that Buffy liked the most was the souvernir-shop. She spent a long time browsing through the T-shirt and picked out a few gifts for her friends. She had bought a pacman travel-chess set for Dawn, a Crash Bandicoot T-shirt for Xander and a Micro$oft shirt for Anya.

Faith had bought a few tacky Playstation related gadgets for herself, while Willow was checking out the mousepads.

"Oh, just look at that, how tacky," Willow scoffed at a gelpack mousepad. On the mousepad, a scantily clad 3-d animated girl winked at the user, while the wrist-supporting gel was located on her chest, divided into two impressive breast-shaped mounts. "That's just demeaning to women, that is."

"Really?" Tara half-smiled. "Then why did you bring one of those home from Jenny's shop a few months back, sweetie?"

Willow's face flashed as red as her hair. "Uh, well, I, uh... I... It's not really, uh..."

"Hm?" Tara playfully raised an eyebrow, while Buffy and Faith had a good laugh at Willow's expense.

"Traitor!" Willow smirked and treated Tara to a soft swat against the arm.

---

That evening, Willow had taken Tara apart from the others and told her she was going to surprise her. Willow drove Tara to a small restaurant at the beach, overlooking Elliot bay at the night. Willow took her to a more secluded part of the restaurant, where food was already waiting for them. Nice freshly baked bread, mushroom soup and a bed of oysters on a silver tray.

"This is so nice," Tara smiled while she took in the atmosphere. Nice scented candles, good food, a nice secluded booth and a man playing the violin within earshot. And, best of all, Willow. Still, it worried Tara that Willow was very jittery.

"Tara?" Willow started nervously. "I, uh, wanted to tell you something. I love you Tara, it's that simple. I love you so very much that no words can ever do it justice."

"Oh, sweetie, I..."

"No, wait, let me finish before I get too nervous to talk," Willow took a few deep breaths. "We've only known each other for almost a year, but you've changed my life and so much for the better. Whenever I'm in pain, you're there for me. Whenever I need you the most, you are there for me. We laugh together, we cry together, we love together. And you make the best pancakes I've ever eaten... Tara, you're the kindest and gentlest person I have ever known, and I count my lucky stars that you have chosen to be with someone like me. I never expected that someone, least of all someone as wonderful as you, would ever fall in love with geeky, awkward Willow. Look, what I want to say is.... have an oyster!"

"Uh... okay," Tara frowned, her cheeks still red from the blush.

Willow took one of Tara's hands, picked an oyster from the tray in front of them and handed it to Tara. Tara noticed that Willow was at the edge of her seat, with sheer intensity in her eyes, when she picked up the oyster, which was soon replaced with devastating disappointment after the oyster slipped into her mouth.

"So, uh... Tara, when we first met in the coffee shop, I was so wowed. You were the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. To this day, I believe our meeting was no coincidence, you know? It's as if we were destined to meet and be together. I'm an agnostic, so I'm not supposed to believe in fate, but there's no other way I can explain it. Tara, I... have another oyster!" Willow finished and fed Tara another oyster.

And again there was disappointment in Willow's eyes after Tara had eaten it. Oddly enough, Tara heard whispers from the other booth behind her. "Willow?" Tara asked. "Is something wrong? You know you can tell me everything, sweetie."

"Tara?" Willow asked. "You're my world. My everything. Now, I know we might both be young and I'm still in school, but... I just can't imagine spending the rest of my life with any other person than you, Tara. Have another oyster!"

"Willow, what is this about?" Tara frowned as she ate another oyster. "I love you too, sweetie. So very, very much. But there's no need to make me blush like this."

"I know it's going to be a big step, but we already live together, and I'm still in school. But I'm starting my internship soon and I'll be getting my masters one year earlier, probably, so... Another oyster?" Willow tried and gave her another shell.

"Will," Tara smirked. "If this is about tonight, trust me, I won't need an aphrodesiac to..."

Suddenly, a terrible pain shot through every fiber Tara's being when she bit down on something very, very hard. After a short yelp, the offending object shot down her throat and directly into her windpipe. Tara grasped for her throat while gasping for air.

"Tara?" a stricken Willow whispered. "Oh, god, no, Tara! TARA!"

Tara was starting to see black spots in front of her eyes while she slid back in her seat. For a moment, she felt as if she was outside of her body, looking on what was happening around her. Suddenly, Buffy, Faith, Dawn, Anya, Xander, and even Hershel and Jennifer were standing around her.... two strong arms surrounded her chest.

Hold on, T, sounded Faith before she felt strong pressure around her midriff. And again... and again...

Finally, the offending object shot from her throat and hit her plate with a resounding 'ting'. She was free to breathe now, and took a few moments to recover. "S-sorry about that. I... I had an accident. W-what are you guys doing here? I..."

And then Tara saw the object that had almost choked her. On her plate lay a beautiful golden ring.

"Tara?" Willow trembled from nervousness. "Will you marry me?"

Tears sprang from Tara's eyes. "Oh, Willow, I..." Tara suddenly grasped at her cheek. "I think I broke a tooth."

---

As it turned out, Tara had broken four teeth. After the unlucky bite on the ring, four of her molars had been shattered, exposing the nerves and causing her a great deal of pain. In fact, Tara seemed to be in so much pain that Hershel drove her to the emergency room immediately.

During the ride there, Tara was in so much pain she was to the point of fainting when they were almost there. All the while, a very guilty Willow held on to her beloved Tara while crying her eyes out.

When Tara was rushed in, it was decided by the dentist on duty that Tara needed complex emergency oral surgery to have four crowns installed where the teeth had broken off. Several hours later, Tara was released to her beloved Willow and her waiting family. The honey-blonde, however, was resolutely incoherent due to being doped up and had her mouth stuffed with cotton.

When they arrived at Hershel's home, Jennifer immediately brought Tara to bed. It took mere seconds for Tara to fall into a deep slumber.

For Willow, her best-laid plan had turned into a nightmare. Not only had she hurt the person she loved most in the world, but the incredibly nervous Willow had never even received an answer. Tara had either been in too much pain, too much doped up or had her mouth stuffed with cotton to give her that much desired 'yes'. For all she knew, Tara would think they'd be too young to get married, or just simply not ready. The idea that Tara could say 'no' to her proposal was devastating to even think about.

Fresh tears kept rolling over Willow's cheeks as she sat with Tara for hours, holding and rubbing her hand. When she got tired herself, she laid down next to Tara, often running her hand through Tara's silky-soft hair. Willow promised herself she'd be baking her loved a tray of cookies every single day from now and to forever to make up for this.

Finally, when the sun came up and poured in through the window, Tara stirred, and her eyes fluttered open. Willow propped herself up and locked eyes with the love of her life. But before she could say anything, a single whispered word came out of Tara's mouth.

"Yes."

---

A very tired Willow was holding on to an equally tired Tara. Though they both decided to spend some time resting, they were too excited to sleep.

"We need a cake," Willow murmured.

"Oh, a really big one. Five layers at least," Tara grinned.

"Oh, and another cake. A kosher cake for uncle Hershel."

"All our friends'll be there," Tara said. "I can't wait to see you in a white gown."

"Huh?" Willow pouted. "I thought you'd be in the gown. A lovely long Tara-gown."

"We can both be in gowns. We're both brides."

"Both in a tux? Or would that be weird?"

"Kinda."

"In white?"

"Well, it is tradition."

"But we're not..."

"Who is these days?"

"True."

"Honeymoon?"

"Tropical island!"

"New Zealand!"

"The computer museum!"

"Do that, and I'll file for divorce."

"Okay, okay, sheesh."

"I'm sleepy."

"Me too."

"Wanna sleep?"

"Wanna snuggle? Naughty snuggles?"

"My mouth still hurts, sweetie. Not just yet."

"So sorry. I wanted to surprise you, be romantic... but the chef forgot to mark the oyster the ring was in and then..."

"Ssssh, sweetie, it's okay."

"Are we getting married in march? First day of spring?"

"I'd love that."

"I love you."

"I love you more."

Willow yawned. "Let's sleep a little, but..." Willow disentangled herself from her lover and staggered towards her computer. She called up the hotmail screen, clicked on her entire address book and typed : "SHE SAID YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!" before clicking send. Willow staggered back to her waiting girlfriend's arms and fell in a deep, blissful sleep.
[hr]

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:22 pm 
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Quote:
Our hamburgers are apparently really tiny compared to some of the american models. I keep hearing that from friends who regularly go to the States. They also keep telling me that Starbucks coffee is like toxic waste.

When I lived in America I didnt feel like that but it might also be that I dont really eat hamburgers here except at McD and that's the same everywhere anyway. The thing about Strabucks really is true... but I still love their Mocha.
Quote:
Now I know. Isn't that simular to the german word for tail having a double meaning?

Hehe, yeah...
Quote:
"What kind of person thinks it's a good idea to tattoo a swastika on his own cheek with some ink and a stiletto?"

The same kind of person that would get a swastika in the first place.
Quote:
Though Tara couldn't make out much of it, she could clearly hear the word 'meshuggener'.

Hihi, sometimes I am really glad I speak German because I can understand Yiddish because of it too.
Loved the menu at the museum!
And the proposal... such a nice idea! Too bad it went awry. Now they definitely wont ever forget any detail about that night :pinky

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:17 pm 
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FANTASTIC!!!!!

"'Faith always had the most fun with the tamagotchi, though. She was always coming up with new ways to kill it.'" lmao. that actually surprised me. i mean, thought she'd be all nurturing, then boom! kill it! hahaha. makes me wonder how many ways you can kill it. i never got a tamagotchi :/.

the whole nerd sex talk was just...gruesome but funny. i had no clue what they were talking about except the hard:wink ware, software; though the...it's so large you had to connect two...rofl!

willow's oyster thingy--"here have another oyster!"--LOL. after the second was just anticipating. did not expect tara to *spoiler spoiler* though. haha. wonder if tara would have bad *spoiler* thus ruining her looks from then on.

very, very nice touch with "computer museum!"--"i'm filing for a divorce", and the hotmail thing. much real. in fact, make her blog it! ;D

i want willow's email address :/ and aim, and msn, and yahoo, and irc, and icq...pretty sure she uses them all ;P

ok, so, bottom line: your willow's insanely cute and between her and tara i could squee like...a fan girl. ;D update!

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:42 pm 
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that made my teeth hurt for tara and my heart hurt for willow. OMG, it must have been horrible. ouch! ouch! OUCH!

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:02 am 
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Quote:
"I made the switch to PC after my Commodore 64."

and
Quote:
"Moved on to a 486 a year later."

*raises hand*

um.

no.

Willow is a mac person.

And she would have been one of the first people to get a gmail invite and ditched hotmail straightaway.

Redmond is evil.

[/macwatty moment]

What a great update. The geek moments resonated with a lot of us here I'm sure. Your comic timing with the oyster proposal episode is spot on. Dawn flinging wide the windows shouting
Quote:
"Tara denies everything!"

Tara and Buffy bonding over the woes of being a geek-spouse while ordering Linux surprises. And Faith! Who would've thought. Not to mention how every.single.one here would love to have a Uncle Hershel and Aunt Jennifer, lovely people. Oh, and Tara guiding Rosella. So much details, and yet this update flows so well. Thank you.
[br]

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:36 am 
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Oh god, what a proposal... but I'm sure it'll be something they'll look back on and laugh. After flinching. I loved Willow's series of hastily-invented declarations of love, when each oyster turned out to be not the right one... and then the one that was the right one, oy... (I've lost a shard of tooth, thanks to a carelessly-swung lacrosse stick, and no, it ain't fun.) But in the end, all's well, and that's what counts.

(I know this'll just make steam come out of macwatty's ears, but thanks for making Willow firmly a PC person. Mac Willow? Please - surely, those Powerbooks we saw had had their OS gutted and replaced with Linux. *hides from vengeful macwatty* Not that I'd expect her to be keeping a Windows partition active except to play games on. *hides from own Win98 PC*)

Gawd, those nerds were just... well, hilarious, in a cringe kind of way. Thankfully I was never like that (well, I might have been, but at that stage I'd have been too terrified to approach a woman anyway, so I can claim never to have done that). Poor Willow, the peril of being a girl-nerd among other nerds... Nerd #1's 'reaction' to Willow's computer knowledge was... well, again, hilarious, and cringe. Ew :lol

I liked the bit of Tara coaching her temporary replacement. It made me wonder, might Tara one day be charged with mentoring young Collectors-to-be, or is it only Harvesters that get that one-on-one mentor training?

Oh, and the previous chapter, I liked that. Tara kicked arse, and even if, as Lindsay said, everyone has their price, Tara was brave enough to set her price high, and smart enough to use the leverage it gave her to get what she wanted in the end. And perhaps Spike will learn his lesson, and perhaps not (well, probably not) - but who ever heard or a perfect system? Just so long as there's someone to fight back when it goes wrong, that's really the best one could hope for. I liked how it came down to Spike vs Lindsay in the end, that felt more realistic - the 'other side' not being a unified cadre of Evil Reapers, but a collection of individuals with their own varying standards. Lindsay needs a good kicking, though.

I also really liked how Tara was presented at the disaster site - in essence, she's another kind of emergency services person, like firefighters or EMTs. She may deal with the dead, but they still need care, and she's the only one who can offer it.

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:04 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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LMAO! haha that was a brilliantly funny update haha Im still laughing!

[blockquote]"Oh... my... god..." Willow gasped when they entered nerd-heaven.[/blockquote]

Wow That is definitly my favorite line in this update! Definitly a thing Willow would say (or I guess think in this case), but I loved the how you captured Willows nerdiness in this chapter, absolutly halarious!

[blockquote]"Oh, I'm feeling lucky. I'll just go with the Linux surprise."[/blockquote]

Haha what meals jeez, I hope Buffy got lucky! I want to know what is in that!

[blockquote]Unofficially, it was because Buffy scared the bejesus out of everyone the last time she drove to Seattle. [/blockquote]

I think Buffy told that story just so she wouldn't have to drive and so she could be with Faith in the back. I love how you captured Taras jealousy in that section of the story...but what does she have to be jealous about shes getting married! Who hooo!

And I also really enjoyed getting to know uncle Hershel, he must play a very important role, Im guessing he's going to be the one who gets Willow and Tara married at their wedding?!

Thanks for the update I really enjoyed it so please please update again soon!!! I would like to see how the wedding turns out compared to Willows plan of proposing lol

Erin

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:00 pm 
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Woot! an update and on my birthday and everything :P

Good stuff keep it coming!

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:13 pm 
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UO,
Chapter 25, the second of the two-parter, was indeed dark and bore all the hallmarks of a European Art House film.
I saw it as a Bergmanesque homage to "The Seventh Seal" with Willow and Tara playing chess as humanity and death respectively.
A very weighty chapter overwrought with metaphysical ponderings on the questions of life, death, the afterlife, and does anyone really know what time is is?
No wait sorry, that last bit is Chicago, but still...
Tara Maclay, defender of the Earth, standing up for the the rights of the living, the dead, the posessed, the disposessed, and all manner of states of being inbetween.
There are enough Lindsay Macdonalds in the world already so it's good that there'a a Tara Maclay to counter his machinations.
Praise be to Spike as well; the man may be unorthodox and gung-ho in his scorched earth policy of carrying out his role but the man knows a lying backstabbing cheat when he sees one and told Lindsay so.

Chapter 26
A welcome return to form in the light-hearted emotional romp we've been needing after the heavy and ponderous philosophical exposition of the two-parter before hand.
Yay to Willow and the internshippy goodness so near to her Uncle Hershel and Aunt Jennifer who genuinely love Willow so she's lucky to have them as surrogate parents.
The computer museum was a hoot but I'd be with Faith checking out the video game consoles when I wasn't sneaking glances and checking out Faith herself.
The old adage saya it best for the nerds who accost Willow with their sexual badinage "Those who talk about it the most have done it the least."
Especially if you are a teenage boy bathed in the iridescent glow of a computer monitor.
Willow's proposal to Tara was a comedy of errors and provided them with a more colorful story to tell the grandkids someday than just "Mom proposed to Mom over dinner one night."
The story will be told like this "Mom put an engagement ring in a bed of oysters but the chef neglected to mark which one it was so Tara-mom nearly choked to death on it and would have had to fill out extra paperwork to save her soul from departing."
Very touching and totally Tara that after awakening the next morning she allayed Willow's fears and whispered 'yes'.

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 12:39 pm 
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WillowRulez = I dunno, but to me, MacDonalds hamburgers always tasted like cardboard, but maybe that's just me. :)

Quote:
"What kind of person thinks it's a good idea to tattoo a swastika on his own cheek with some ink and a stiletto?"

The same kind of person that would get a swastika in the first place.


Good point. Those are not the kind of people with the highest intelligence-score, after all.

Yeah, I doubt they'd ever forget that evening at the restaurant... the day Tara broke her teeth and Willow's lover ended up having to go to the hospital. Poor kids. :(

inlerf - Cool, I got a squee! :party Well, as I understand it, you can kill Tamagotchi's the same way you kill off your Sims. You have to be a bit underhanded and cruel. :kdevil

Quote:
the whole nerd sex talk was just...gruesome but funny. i had no clue what they were talking about except the hard ware, software; though the...it's so large you had to connect two...rofl!


Actually, that's a very obscure computer reference. A few years back was releasing their 6X00 line of Videocards, they released a presskit of it. Now, back then, most powerful videocards needed to have an extra power source, and needed to be plugged directly into the computer's PSU through a molex connector. (they still do now, but it's a different type of connector). But the 6X00 in the presskit was shown to have two molex connectors, starting speculations of what a gas guzzler that card was.

God, I've just realized I'm an incredible nerd. :blush

Don't worry about Tara's teeth. They fixed her molars up nicely. Oh, and I loved the blog idea. In fact, I loved it so much I made it a big part of the next story! Thanks for the suggestion! And your kind words. :wtkiss

Thianne - Ouch indeed, for both of them. Luckily, things got a lot better for them.

Watty - Well, uh... how to put this diplomatically... My Willow (that is, the Willow in this story) is definitely not a mac person. She's more of a tinkerer and tweaker. Besides, she works at a computer shop, so she deals with PC's a lot more than with Macs. If your Willow is a mac person, sure, all power to you and her, but my Willow is firmly in the PC camp. :kgeek Uh, if you'll excuse me, I'll head over to the bomb-shelter now. :peace

In any case, about the update... Well, this story is built around Geek moments and I must admit to having plenty of those myself. I don't know how many hours I've clocked on the old computers website doing research for this update. Wonderful site.

I feel sorta guilty about the oyster bit, though. Hershel was fun to write and it was nice to give Willow more attentive and kindly family members than Sheila and Ira. Glad you enjoyed the update!

Chris - Oh yeah, it's a story to tell their grandchildren alright. :) A lacrosse stick to the jaw? Ouch, that's bloody painful. Reminds me of the time a schoolmate of mine threw the bat away a little too enthusiastically during a softball game and the handle hit me square in the head. Maybe that's why I've gone so nutty.

In my head, Willow's always been a PC person. Interestingly enough, I've just read that Apple is including software on their Macs which allow for native support of Windows XP installations. Interestingly that. Yes, I'd say Willow has many partitions with many different OS'es. I imagine her to be a bit of a tweaker who builds her own PC's until they are just perfect. :)

Quote:
I liked the bit of Tara coaching her temporary replacement. It made me wonder, might Tara one day be charged with mentoring young Collectors-to-be, or is it only Harvesters that get that one-on-one mentor training?


Actually, I really like that idea. I might work it in a little later. Thanks.

Ditto on the Lindsey kicking. Hm, in the Scarface computer game, Tony Montana throws a Diaz brothers henchmen from the top floor of a highrise hotel. Maybe... nah, thankfully Tara isn't Tony. :kdevil

I like the comparison of Tara as an ES person. Somebody has to take of the death, after all.

Erin - Hi Erin, glad the update made you laugh. That means I've done my job. :)

Quote:
Haha what meals jeez, I hope Buffy got lucky! I want to know what is in that!


Oddly enough, I don't. ;)

Damn right Tara was jealous. Buffy got to cuddle with Faith while Tara was faced with a 10-hour drive without being able to cuddle her own lover. Hell, I'd be jealous.

Quote:
And I also really enjoyed getting to know uncle Hershel, he must play a very important role, Im guessing he's going to be the one who gets Willow and Tara married at their wedding?!


Good guess. :) Hershel was really fun to write.

Uh, yeah, sorry about being late with updating. Combination of work, writer's block and the scarface video game sorta caused a bit of a hiccup. But the new chapter will be posted in a few seconds. :)

Sahugani - Happy (belated) birthday! Update in a few seconds.

Taralicious -
Quote:
A very weighty chapter overwrought with metaphysical ponderings on the questions of life, death, the afterlife, and does anyone really know what time is is?


LOL! I was thinking about the Monty Python Skit about the australian philosophy department. G'day ladies and bruces! :)

I think Spike really came through for Tara in chapter 25. He might be vicious, but he's not completely insane. :)

Chapter 26 was posted so quickly as a counter-balance to parts 24 and 25, to bring the story back to the light-hearted slightly macabre humor. I enjoyed giving Willow relatives that actually love and appreciate her for who she is, in contrast to her own parents. I always thought Willow deserved a loving family.

Quote:
"Those who talk about it the most have done it the least." Especially if you are a teenage boy bathed in the iridescent glow of a computer monitor.


LOL! Too true! :) :kgeek

LOL! I just imagined the two of them trying to stop 'auntie Faith' from telling the kids the R-rated version of what happened the night mom proposed to mom. :) Thanks for that mental image.

Would Tara ever say no to Willow's proposal? It'd been against all natural laws in the universe! :kgeek

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 12:42 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Hello friendly neighborhood Kittens,

Sorry for the delay in getting this part out, but I've been having a bout of writer's block as of late. Playing the recently released Scarface game seems to have solved it, though. So ironically, Tony Montana is responsible for helping me get rid of my writer's block. :)

Title - Don't fear the Reaper.

Chapter 27 : Moms and Dads.

Author name - Useful_Oxymoron

Email Address - Viernadevir@hotmail.com

Rating - PG-13. humor about death isn't everybody's cup of tea.

Disclaimer - Well, I don't own Willow or Tara. And if I did, I'd set them free.

Feedback- Is cool. It's always nice to know somebody liked the crap I write.

Summary- After getting back home from Seattle, Willow and Tara are getting ready for the big day. Meanwhile, Buffy and Faith move in together.

Notes- Influences for this story: The wonderful film The Frighteners (which everybody should see), lightly Dead Like Me, Terry Pratchett and the Blue Oyster Cult.

Thanks go to Inlerf for the wonderful blog idea. Unfortunately, I didn't know how to include pictures on this post. It's an inelegant solution, sadly, posting urls, but it gets the job done, at least

Italics are thoughts

[hr]
"Willow's Wedding Blog"

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the sporadic updates, but, well, standard excuse really, I got very busy what with my new internship, school, etc. But that doesn't mean we're not thinking about not getting married anymore, definitely not. (And, yes Dawn, you still get to be a bridesmaid. Promise!)

We're still looking for the perfect location, so Tara and I spent last weekend trekkin' along, as it were. Check out these pictures we took in the countryside. There's also a wonderful chapel there. Of course, we're not very religious, but you should see the view from the hillside:

Picture1
Picture2
Picture3
Picture4

Perfect place to get married, wouldn't you say? We're seriously thinking about tying the knot here. Opinions?

Okay, time for the truth. Another reason why I've been so slow to update is because, well... I sorta started this blog so I could keep my friends and family up to speed on our wedding plans. But, as is the thing with public blogs, a lot of other people visited and commented on my blog as well, which was more than a little intimidating at first. But when I got over the initial shock, I was overwhelmed by the, well, overwhelmingly positive comments and well-wishes you have given us. Thank you all.

Oh, and for that mental three-year old that claimed he can 'cure' us with his freakishly large 18 inch penis, let's just say that we're less than impressed. Besides, I'm pretty sure that if we would divide that number by 36, we'd come close to the true size of your tinkywink, mister!

Anyway, as soon as there are new developments, I'll keep you informed. And for those who asked, here's a picture of my Tara. Isn't she the cutest girl you've ever seen? The sweetest smile, the most gorgeous golden hair, the cutest nose... Wouldn't you want to snatch her up and run off with her on the spot? Well, forget it, cause she's MINE! :D

I'll try to convince Tara to type a message for you the next time, but I won't promise anything. The idea of this blog makes Tara a bit nervous, you see? But I'll see what I can do.

Until next time.

Willow


Tara clicked away the website and smiled briefly. At least now she knew why Willow was so adamant to make that picture of her.

And, while it was true that the blog sorta made Tara nervous, she wouldn't deny Willow her excentricities. Though it made her nervous, she'd be giving leaving a message on Willow's blog some serious thought. They were they approached the wedding showed how different they were. Willow wanted every single tiny detail of their wedding planned to perfection. In contrast, the only thing Tara needed to have at the wedding was Willow... all the rest was secondary.

Her thoughts drifted back to last night. It had rained heavily throughout most the night, and Tara always enjoyed watching the water stream over the slanted skylight of their loft. In fact, there is was one thing Tara enjoyed even more than holding Willow while the water rains down on the skylight: making love to Willow when the water rains down on the skylight.

There was nothing in the world quite like waking up Willow with kisses and caresses, to let her hands slide over Willow's body to find her most sensitive and ticklish spots, to tease her with her tongue, to massage her soft belly... And that was only the start of an hours-long session of Tara giving it her all to make love to Willow while the lightning regularly lit up the entire bedroom.

Tara didn't quite know what it was about thunder and lightning that brought out the beast in her, but neither of them was complaining.

But at the moment, she figured she should really be getting her belongings together, like preparing her favorite fishing rod and gather a nice variety of lines and hooks. Tara had talked Willow into joining her on a fishing trip this weekend. Not that Willow needed much convincing. Though fishing wasn't Willow favorite activity in the world, the idea of being with Tara at the idyllic lakeside in a tent was too much to refuse. In fact, Willow was probably one of the few campers in the world who was actually hoping for rain.

Like last time, Tara might not actually catch many fish. Willow's chattiness had a tendancy to scare the fish away, while Willow in bikini proved to be a mite distracting for Tara. Still, Tara was not complaining. Not at all.

So, the tent and supplies were packed, and all she needed to get together were her fishing supplies, but she could do that tomorrow. It was only wednesday after all, so she had plenty of time to see what hooks she'd have to bring.

The doorbell ringing left Tara to have to decide later on if she'd have to bring her carp-hooks. She checked the clock and wondered why Willow and her dad were back already. The matinee they went to couldn't have been over yet. Tara opened the door and saw the person she least expected to see.

"Dad?"

"Tara."

Silence.

"Can I come in?"

"Huh?" Tara replied. "Oh, oh, sorry. Sure. Come in."

Tara's father passed her. "How have you been."

"Fine, I suppose."

"You didn't expect me at all, did you?"

"Not really, I..."

"I wanted to talk to you... you know, after the tribunal," he said while he sat down on the couch. "But... I never quite knew what to say to you."

"Neither do I, really," Tara replied softly. "I suppose we have a lot to say to each other, but I just don't know where to start."

"Then let's start off with your impending wedding. Colleagues of mine found your fiancee's blog on the internet, and, well... I wanted to give you my congratulations. And, for what it's worth, my blessing."

"That means a lot to me, dad," Tara replied softly. "More than you know."

"I know I haven't been a very good father to you over the past few years, and I know it's going to be hard to make up for it, but... you have to start somewhere."

Tara regarded her father for a while. She could read in his face that this was very hard for him. He had never been well at showing and sharing his emotions, after all.

"I don't even know about the girl you're about to marry," he half-smiled. "That's embarrassing to admit to your friends, you know?"

"Well, if you wait a while," Tara said. "Willow and her dad went out to the theatre today, and they'll be back in about half an hour. While we wait for them we could, um, you know, c-catch up and all that. I mean, if you like."

"I would," Donald replied. "Tell me about my soon to be daughter-in-law."

Tara had never expected sharing silly anecdotes about things that had happened to her and Willow over past few months. How Willow had been chased across town by a Great Dane because it wanted her pastrami sandwich and Willow was to stubborn to give up her sandwich to the hungry and playful dog. How Willow dressed up like Scarface at Halloween but only used kiddie swear-words. Of how she and Willow travelled to Griffith Park in LA and hung out with two old hippies.

Tara and her father enjoyed the conversation. Then Willow and her own father returned from the matinee. It was no secret that Willow was surprised to see Tara's father sitting in her living room.

"Oh, hi, um," Willow said when she let her father in. "I, uh, well, this is unexpected. This, of course, is Tara's father."

Donald Maclay slowly rose from his seat and extended his hand towards Ira Rosenberg. As the two men awkwardly shook hands, Tara couldn't help but notice the two men were like two wildebeests sizing each other up before the charge.

"It's a pleasure to meet someone from Tara's family," Ira said. "I'm afraid Tara hasn't exactly been forthcoming with details. I did hear from her that you, like her, deal in tracking down insurance fraud?"

Donald turned to Tara for a moment, sending her a questioning glare that made Tara look away and blush slightly. "Yes," he hissed through his teeth. "Insurance fraud. And you are... a teacher, aren't you?"

"Associate professor in Psychology at UCLA, tenured, actually," Ira replied, while still shaking Donald's hand.

"Truly? Well, I oversee... insurance fraud... staff over a multitude of regions," Donald replied, taking back his hand.

"Is there really that much insurance fraud?"

"Oh, you find it in all layers of society, all times of the day," Donald shrugged. "In any case, since our daughters will be getting married, I suppose we'll be seeing more of each other."

"Is mom still crying?" Willow crossed her arms.

"That's not fair, Willow," Ira replied. "We were very excited when you told us you were engaged."

"Yes," Willow pouted. "The last time I'd seen mom get so excited was when the kitchen was on fire. Oh, and after that, she got that same look in her eyes Xander gets whenever he sees Faith eating an ice-cream cone. Only less lusty and more in a 'where have I gone wrong'-trance-y sort of way."

"Oh, Willow, be fair," Ira tried. "She's just... worried. You are a bit young to be married, after all."

"It has nothing to do with my age and everything to do with my fiancee's gender," Willow pouted more. Tara immediately took Willow's hand and guided her back to the couch.

"Come on, Willow," Ira tried to remain encouraging. "She'll turn around once you and Tara have broken glass."

Donald blinked. "Excuse me? Breaking glass?"

Ira turned to Donald. "Yes, that marks the end of the traditional Jewish wedding."

"Je..." Donald started to say. "Like hell! Their marriage will end with the recitation of their vows while they hold their hands on the golden skull!"

"G... golden skull?" Ira blinked.

"My little girl will be having a traditional Reaper wedding, and that is final!" Donald replied.

Ira blinked again. "What is a Reaper? I've never heard of that religion..."

Donald bit his lip. "It's not important what religion it is! What is important is that that's the way Tara's going to marry!"

"Over my dead body!" Ira challenged.

A sardonic grin formed on Donald's face. "My thoughts exactly."

"DAD!" Willow shouted.

"DAD!" Tara admonished.

"We don't even know where we're going to be married, let alone how!" Willow said.

"It's a bit early to behave like two angry roosters, now is it?" Tara smirked, firmly putting the two fathers in their place.

The next half an hour proved to be a bit simpler for the girls and the two men actually chatted amicably for a while. Still, whenever Willow or Tara noticed the conversation was headed towards the details of the impending wedding ceremony, or the Reapers, they deftly steered it into another direction. At the end of the conversation, both men left, and Tara's father promised to visit more often.

A relieved Willow and Tara leaned against each other on the couch, while Tara stroked Willow's hair.

"That went well," Tara smiled.

"Sometimes I wonder who's getting married. Us or our families. Our dysfunctional families. Still wanna get married?"

"I'm still wearing your ring, aren't I?"

"My mother's going to be the real tough cookie to break," Willow sighed heavily. "It would be so much easier if she could just... accept..."

"I know," Tara said. It was the only thing she could say.

---

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Buffy was pacing about in her new home. About a month back, Buffy had taken a big step in leaving the parental home. Above her new martial arts school was a large room that used to be rented out for storage space. But it had a lovely view and plenty of room for comfortable living. It was the only sensible thing to move in. That way, Buffy could be close to her school, close to campus and still be in walking distance from her family home.

Besides, a big selling point is that Faith promised to move in with her if she wanted her to.

A few days back, Joyce had finally declared her daughter's new home habitable. Though there weren't any walls, the large room was quite cozy and had been divided in several sections. A queen-sized bed (bought secondhand) stood at the very edge of the room, surrounded by two night stands. A recently installed kitchen block was placed against the east wall, along with a large refridgerator.

Faith's old couch and several seats taken from storage surrounded a glass coffee table above a big white rug. Along with some of Buffy's favorite possessions, including her collection of stuffed animals, Faith had moved in all of her gadgets. Buffy knew that Faith had a thing for gadgets and camp technology, but the sheer amount of strange devices Faith owned baffled her. Also, she never quite caught wrap her head around the logic behind Faith's purchase of no less than five Furbies... Though Faith claimed it was fun to see the five Furbies interact, Buffy only found them incredibly annoying.

Fortunately, Faith had also brought some of her more useful items like a fridge, several lamps, a large TV, a DVD-player and VHS machine and, of course, her beloved Playstation 2.

Though the walls were still a bit bare, Faith and Buffy had adorned them with old posters until they could find a better solution. All in all, it was a nice place to live. A major con for Buffy, however, was that there was no mom with dinner ready on the table when she got home after a long day.

Buffy sighed heavily and checked the clock yet again. Faith was already an hour late. They'd have to start making dinner soon and there was still no sign of her.

Finally, Buffy heard the sound of the lift activating. The only access (aside from the fire-escape) was a large freight elevator to the side of the room, which was now coming up. It deposited an excited Faith into their home.

"Hey, B!" Faith grinned a she stepped onto the floor with a package underneath her arm. "Look what I got!"

"Faith, do you know what time it is?"

"No," Faith replied. "Check this out!"

"What is it?"

"It's a snowboard simulator!" Faith replied. "I picked it up from the gameshop next to the supermarket. See, you hook it up to your TV and then you step onto the board and steer yourself through the halfpipe with your body."

"Faith... where's our food?"

"Huh?"

"The food I asked you to bring."

"Oh, I spent all the money on the snowboard simulator," Faith shrugged. "Who needs food when you can snowboard in your own living room?"

"FAITH!" Buffy replied sharply. "What are we going to eat tonight?!"

Faith shrugged again. "Chill B. I'll order some pizza."

"We had pizza yesterday and the day before that," Buffy replied. "You might be able to eat like a pig and stay thin, but I have to eat some heathy food too."

"Low-fat pizza?" Faith shrugged, and then cooed to her approaching pooch.

"BUFFY!" Faith greeted her dog. "BuffyBuffyBuffyBuffyBuffy," she said while bending down and grabbing hold of her loving mastiff.

Buffy, the human, crossed her arms. "And another thing. If that dog's gonna be living with us, we have to make sure you don't mix us up."

"How are we gonna do that?"

"Me Buffy," Buffy pointed at herself. "She Comet."

Faith shook her head. "No, no, she doesn't listen to Comet anymore. Hey, I got another idea. She Buffy One. You Buffy Two."

Buffy blinked. "What?"

"She Buffy One..."

"I heard you the first time," Buffy said. "So I'm number two? It's nice to know where I stand with you, Faith. Why do I have to be Buffy Two?"

"Hey, don't get all iffy," Faith replied. "It's just because I knew this Buffy before I knew you."

"Yeah, but I was called Buffy before Buffy was called Buffy," Buffy replied. "So if I was called Buffy before Buffy was called Buffy, shouldn't I be called Buffy One instead of Buffy Two?"

Faith blinked. "Huh?"

"And another thing," Buffy mentioned to a cardboard cut-out of Columbo, which was used as a stand in a store to hold the Columbo DVD's and which Faith had 'liberated' from said store and now used it to store her Columbo collection.

"What's wrong with my Peter Falk display?"

"Why is he aimed towards the bed? I don't want Columbo looking at us when we're sleeping... or worse, when we're making love!"

"Look, B!"

"Look, Faith."

The two girlfriends stared at each other for a moment.

"Are we having a fight?"

"I think so."

"Can we stop it?"

"Yeah, sure," Faith replied. "Sorry... Guess I should have brought some food, huh?"

"This is actually the first time we've had a fight, I think. It's, um, not of the fun."

"Ditto."

"In every tv-show and book, the protagonists have make-up sex after a first fight... but I really don't feel like that at the moment."

"Same here," Faith sighed. "I'm feeling too guilty. Sorry, B, I should think before opening my mouth... and before buying an electronic snowboard."

"'s okay," Buffy shrugged at the two sat down together on the edge of their bed. "Dawn'll probably love it when she comes over."

"Yeah, I, uh," Faith carefully wrapped and arm around Buffy's waist. When Buffy didn't pull away, Faith relaxed slightly. "Thinking isn't my strong point, B. I, uh, am ashamed to say I said some pretty bad things to Tara when we were younger. But she always forgave me later, thank Death. I don't think I would have had much of a life without her."

"Tara? I can't imagine what'd make you yell at her."

Faith lay her head on Buffy's shoulder. "It's, uh, not that she said anything bad, it's just that... well, she tried to get me to open up. Felt I was bottling things up, you know? Well, maybe that's true, but I just didn't want to tell anyone about what happened between me and my dead-beat parents, B."

"Your girlfriend is listening if you wanna talk," Buffy whispered. "But you don't have to if you don't want to."

"Maybe I do want to get this off my chest," Faith said. "You don't know how lucky you are, B. You've got a family and friends who love you. Me, I... Okay, I'm gonna keep this short. You know how I told you that we Reapers treat Death differently than the average mortal? Cultural thing, right? Well, it's not always true, and the Head Office don't want that coming out. My dad was a Collector who couldn't handle the whole philosophy. He used to get drunk after work and rant about it... then he used to beat up on my mom. And then... mom'd come to my room and take out her frustration out on me," Faith closed her eyes. "Because I was weaker than her and I couldn't fight back."

"Oh, Faith," Buffy took her girlfriend's hand. "That's so horrible."

"Tell me about it," Faith replied softly. "It started when I was five and went on till I was eleven... that was the time when I started fighting back. Anyway, someone at the Head Office caught wind of our nice little dysfunctional nuclear family... They sent my dad to a special facility for 'behavioral modification', and reassigned my mother to another country. And they made me an offer I couldn't refuse."

"What was that?"

"My own place, legal emancipation from my parents, guaranteed admission to Harvester training... everything I wanted. They only wanted one thing of me. I had to keep my mouth shut about what happened in my family. The Head Office doesn't want it publicly known that some Reapers go off on the deep end, B. They said that if word got out, they'd take everything away from me in a heartbeat. But trust me, at the time, I wasn't in a hurry to tell anyone. Well, that's the story of Faith Lehane's crappy family. Do with it as you please."

Buffy kissed Faith's shoulder. "Don't even joke about that, Faith. You never talked to your family again?"

"Never," Faith replied. "I don't care where my dad is. My mom used to send me a birthday card, but those stopped coming long ago. Fuck'em, I don't need them. I had some lonely years, but then I had Tara as a friend... and now I have you as a lover. I guess I'm lucky after all."

"I love you, Faith," Buffy whispered. "I want you to be happy."

"Uh," Faith blushed slightly. "I, uh, don't wanna sound like a wuss or anything, but, uh, could I just... hold you for a while?"

Buffy slowly pushed Faith down to the bed and let the other girl embrace her tightly. When she looked at Faith, she was treated with the most beautiful smile she had ever seen.

"Love ya, B."

---

Sheila Rosenberg grabbed her bathrobe and headed down the stairs, suppressing a yawn. The doorbell had rang, and after glancing at the clock, she saw it was past midnight. She looked through the little peephole in the front door and saw one of the Summers girls standing in front of the door. It looked to be Bunny's little sister Fawn. Wasn't she a little young to be out at night?

Sheila opened the door and saw Fawn standing there with a determined look on her face, holding a piece of paper.

"Young lady," Sheila said. "Do you know what time it is? I shall be calling your mother first day in the morning."

"Do that," Fawn replied coldly. "But read this."

Fawn shoved the piece of paper into Sheila's hands and stomped off. The puzzled woman looked at the paper, which turned out to be a printed internet page. It seemed to be part of an online diary and had a whole string replies underneath the main entry, mostly words of support from people with odd handled. The main entry consisted of a single sentence which read :

"Willow's Wedding Blog

Why doesn't my mother love me?
"

---

"Hello Lara, is Willow in?"

Tara was flabbergasted to find Willow's mother standing in the door opening. "Uh, s-sure, I, uh... It's Tara, by the way."

"Sure, Lara," Sheila replied and found Willow standing in the living room.

"Mom?" Willow asked, equally flabbergasted. "What are you doing here?"

"I've never been to your home," Sheila commented absentmindedly. "It's nice... as homes go."

Instantly, Tara became aware of the rising hostility between the two women in front of her. Willow and Sheila always seemed to be two unstoppable forces... and right now, they were on collision course. Freeman Dyson once stated that if two indestructible and unstoppable forces would collide, it could potentially annihilate the entire universe.

Or at least the apartment.

"I read your blog, all of it," Sheila said, making a less militant spectacle of herself than she usually did. "Your friend Fawn brought it to my attention."

"It's Dawn," Willow corrected. "Your read my blog? I-I didn't think you'd... I mean... Dammit, have you come here to tell me to take it down? That you don't want it any more publicly know that your daughter is a dyke?! Well, it ain't gonna happen, that's for sure! And another thing..."

Sheila sighed. "No, no, not this time. I came over to say that it's not true. I do love you, Willow."

"Oh?" Willow replied coldly. "Since when?"

"That's unfair, Willow."

"Is it?" Willow replied. "You never loved me when you thought I was straight and you certainly never started loving me when I was gay. I never got an ounce of support from you when I was... troubled and confused. I had to go to somebody else's mother for love and understanding. Don't you get that? When I told you I was gay, you told me I was just saying that to draw attention to myself! Four years ago you stabbed a dagger in my heart and you've been driving it deeper every single time we talked... which isn't really all that much, thank god!"

"Look, Willow," Sheila sighed. "I... I always had big plans for your life, from the moment you were conceived. We want you to be a success, Willow."

"Oh, and Tara doesn't fit into your plans? And you decide for me what a successful life is? There's a little thing called free will, mom. Perhaps you've heard of it?" Willow replied.

Tara sighed heavily. This is not going well. I have to do something. While Willow and her mother continued arguing, Tara moved along the room, gathering some things.

"And, yes, I do believe you're too young to get married. You're nineteen, Willow, and way too young to make a well-informed decision about these things. And what about Tara? How fair is it to her when you find out you're not gay after all and you're already married?"

"What do you mean, 'when'?!" Willow shouted. "I am gay! I have always been gay and I always will be gay! God, this is just... At least dad is trying to make things better, but you are just making things between us so much worse!"

"Why? You suddenly decided to be gay, so you might suddenly decide to be straight again someday. It's been know to happen."

"You mean you hope it's going to happen," Willow narrowed her eyes. "Look, why don't you just..."

"ALRIGHT!"

Willow and her mother both looked at Tara, who was standing with her arms crossed. "Which one of you is going to be the one that gives the other one a break?"

"Tara?" Willow asked. "Y-you aren't taking her side, are you?"

"Sweetie, I'm not taking anyone's side. Goddess, look at what this is doing to you both. Willow, you have such anger towards your mother, and that's not good for you. You're such a loving person, and it's scary to see you this angry and cynical. And you, mrs Rosenberg, you are so knee-deep in denial you're going to drown in it! Look, you two have to at least try to start talking things out or this'll continue to drag on."

That said, Tara headed to the door. "I'm sorry, Willow, but you're going to have talk things out."

"Tara?" Willow asked when Tara closed the door. Curiosity turned to panic when she heard a snick. "TARA!"

"Willow, what's going on?" Sheila asked.

Willow leaned against the door slightly and let out a heavy sigh. "She locked the door. And since my keys aren't on the coffee-table anymore, she must have taken those too."

"Your girlfriend locked us in here?" Sheila bit her lip. "How rude."

"That's the first time you ever acknowledged Tara as my girlfriend." Willow said as she quickly checked her sachel. "Buffy has our housekey, freedom is just a phonecall away... Oh, poopy. Tara took my cellphone too," Willow paced frantically between a few cupboards to see if she had hidden it. "Nope, it's not here, she definitely took it."

"I left mine at home as well," Sheila sighed after checking her handbag. "I didn't want to be called from work while we were... talking."

Willow perked up. "Hold on, I'll send her an e-mail! She's bound to be at the Martial Arts school right about now and... Oh, wait," Willow froze, and quickly ran to the window, where the pushed aside the curtains. "Yeppers, Tara took the cable-modem too."

"At least your girlfriend has all her bases covered," Sheila sighed.

"Well, there's another idea. I might have enough components, and it'll take me a while, but I could..." Willow suddenly froze and shook her head. She slowly moved back to the couch and plopped down with a sigh.

"What is it, Willow?"

"Apparently," Willow avoided her mother's gaze, "I'm so desperate to avoid talking with you, that I considered building a short-wave radio from scratch."

Sheila blinked. "What use would that be?"

"I helped Dawn build one for a science project," Willow shrugged. "She still uses it. Her circle of friends now include a couple of burly truckers."

"Fawn, she's a plucky one, alright," Sheila sighed. "I suppose we could talk."

"Talk is good. I suppose."

Silence

More silence.

Even more silence.

Yet more silence as mother and child sat next to each other.

"Mom. All my life I have wanted your complete attention, if only for a little while, so I could talk to you and you would actually listen to what I'd have to say. And now that the moment is here, I... I don't have anything to say to you at all. Ironic, isn't it?" Willow whispered softly.

"Talk is good for the soul."

"Then why do you hardly ever talk to me?"

"You know how it is... always busy, always something to do, work, study... and you were a very self-sufficient child. I know that's not an excuse, but..."

---

Tara took a sip from her mocha and checked her watch again. And yet again, she worried if she still had a fiancee after this little escapade... or worried that she might come home to find both mother and daughter dead with their hands wrapped around each other's necks. Luckily, she'd ran into two friends to help her pass the time.

"Relax, Tara," Phaere smiled while sipping from her teacup, while her partner Laska was doing a study of her bagel.

Laska and Phaere were two colleagues from the computer company where Willow was interning. They were a lesbian couple that had been together for the past ten years, and the oddest pair. Phaere was a senior sales manager and, as such, was constantly delving in numbers, figures, charts and financial statements. A shrewd businesswoman who saw opportunities and took them whenever they presented themselves. She was a gorgeous woman and almost always wore a grey business suit.

Laska, on the other hand, was the mirror opposite of Phaere. Laska was a tall woman with long black hair tied into a pony. In her free time, she preferred jeans and tank-top. She served as the company's Head of Security. Though that sounded impressive, Laska always added the entire security department consisted of herself, the night-watchman Bubba, and two old Dobermanns called Cheech and Chong.

"It's just her... this thing between her and her mother," Tara sighed.

"Hey," Laska replied. "Willow told us all about her mom. She sounds like a parent with all the typical 'oh, my god, my child is gay'-qualifications. We know all about that, don't we?"

"Oh, yeah," Phaere giggled. "Almost gave my dad a heart-attack when I brought home Laska. Not only did I bring home a girl, I brought home a white girl. It was almost too much for my ex-black panther dad."

"Hm-hmm," Laska grinned and changed her voice to sound like Phaere's father. "Damn, girl, so many fine-ass sisters out there, and you bring home one of them."

"Dad grew to like Laska. Took a bit of time, but he did," Phaere smiled. "Don't worry, Tara, you're a very likable person. Your in-laws are going to adore you."

"I'm more worried about Willow, really."

"I wish they sold brewski's here," Laska broke in. "I could use a nice frosty cold one right about now."

"They've got tea and coffee," Phaere replied. "Excellent pricing, I might add."

"What are you talking about? Starbucks is cheaper," Laska replied.

"I'm talking about pricing from a financial standpoint, Laska."

"Heh, you're the only woman in the world who admires people who rip her off," Laska grinned. "And I love you for it."

---

With trembling hand, Tara unlocked the door, expecting to find just about anything. To her pleasant surprise, she found Willow and her mother quietly talking.

"Am I interrupting anything?"

"Hey!" Willow smiled and embraced Tara. The two lovers brushed lips briefly. When Tara broke the kiss, she saw that Sheila was embarrassed by it and looked away.

Oh, well, won't change the world in a day, Tara thought and sat down next to Willow on the couch. "Well, how are you doing?"

"I got a lot of things off my chest. Things I've been wanting to say for the longest times. I feel so liberated, Tara," Willow smiled. "Mom actually listened to me today."

"I too have had a similar feeling on enlightenment," Sheila replied. "It seems I have been quite deep in denial. It's fascinating, really. I've been trained to recognize the five stages of acceptance, but I've failed to notice them in myself until Willow shared her observations with me. It's a very fascinating form of psychological myopia. I should do more research on the subject."

Sheila took a deep breath. "My daughter is a lesbian... There, I've said it. And it's so easy. My daughter is a lesbian. I admit I am still not happy about it, though."

Willow turned to Tara. "It took her four years to get this far, I suppose we can't expect a full conversion in a day."

"Yes," Sheila said as she headed towards the door. "My daughter is a lesbian. My daughter is a lesbian. My daughter is a lesbian. I never expected this to be this easy. Hmm, must do research. Willow, honey, we'll talk later, okay."

"Okay, mom, bye," Willow replied and turned to Tara. "Tara, baby, I swear, this has to been the weirdest hour of my life."

"You okay, sweetie?"

"More than okay," Willow said. "When my mother's talking about doing research it's a good sign. I can hardly believe it, but I think my mother and I actually communicated with each other. I don't dare hope thing'll actually improve between us, but... wow, we actually talked to each other today!"

"I'm happy for you, sweetie," Tara embraced her fiancee.

---

Willow's Wedding Blog

Hi everyone. I'm Tara. Willow strongarmed me into writing in her blog. I'm pretty much new to this internet diary thing, so I hope you'll forgive me if I make nettiquette mistakes and all that. I'll promise not to write in all caps of use that silly l33t speak. I don't have much to say, really, just that Willow and I are fine and we hope you are too.

It seems our coming wedding has brought our families closer together. I had dinner with Willow and her family and things went so much better than the last time. And, shock upon shocks, Willow's mother actually remembered my name! I also had a long talk with my dad the other day. We sorta started clearing up the air between us, which is a good thing.

I'm afraid this is all the time I have to right. I have to buy my friends Faith and Buffy a housewarming gift for their party tonight.

Thank you all for your well wishes and kind words. Willow'll do the next blog again, but I sorta like it, so I might write more. Until then! And thank you!

Tara

[hr]

Nice time... Wedding Bells. :wtkiss I hope not to take a month to write it.

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 9/12)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:09 pm 
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this was such a sweet update! i'm so glad willow and tara cleared the air abit with their families...and tara locking them in! that was so butch and take-charge of her :drool

poor faith.....her family story is always crappy. i feel for her, but i think she's right....the dog should be buffy 1 :P

and Dawn! bringing the blog page to sheila! you gotta love her!

i LOVED this update.....and yeah, it would be nice not to actually wait another month for the next update :P but take your time....

hugs

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:41 am 
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Oh my goodness, this is so funny. A cut-out of Columbo indeed! But poor Willow and Tara. Their fathers' discussion of the relative merits of a Jewish vs. Reaper wedding is a trip, but I know it has to be nerve-racking. And Willow's wedding blog. Too cute! I'm glad they got things with their parents worked out. Wonderful update!


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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:46 am 
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:party whooo hoo how exciting an update!! Im thrilled to have seen this before going to class...And now I have something to look forward to! The wedding! *jumps up and down*... Im just excited :) Well I would write more but off to class I go.. ill make up for it in the next update! Please update soon anticipation is already killing me...:) Peace

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:01 pm 
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UO,
All praise to Tara Maclay, defender of the Earth's souls, for stepping up and doing what needed to be done in setting aside her wariness of the blogosphere and people's lack of attention to grammar therein since she knew how much it meant to Willow for Tara to have some input as to her own feelings in sharing their special day with those they care about.
Beautiful photos of their settings under consideration for the nuptials, too.
Woodsy, back to nature, pristine surroundings help emphasize the sacred and special nature of the committment they have sworn to each other.
As is so often the case in regards to the untamed elctronic frontier, there is always some Banky Edwards wannabe who thinks he's being too clever by 7/8 in spouting off some gangsta-rap drivel about his attitude towards women.
The other arena regarding Willow and Tara's union that Tara shone in and brokered a tenuous peace is in regards to the stalemate between Willow and her mother.
Like so many disagreemnets which have festered into hostile grudges, both parties have entrenched themselves and refuse to budge an inch in the other's direction lest they be seen as concilatory and showing a sign of weakness.
Tara was pushed to take such drastic measures as to deprive the two women of all means of outside comminication until they were forced to open a dialogue or it would be a very long afternoon.
Agonizingly slow at first, the mother and daughter finally opened up to each other and made some tentative progress towards acknowledging Willow's place in the world and not Sheila's preconceived notion of who she had always thought Willow should be.
The whole Fawn/Lara slight hopefully will recede into Sheila's subconcious and she will pay Willow's friends and partner the respect they deserve now that Sheila has acknowledged to herself and said out loud that her daughter is a lesbian.
I can't wait to see Willow and Tara in their wedding attire.

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:32 am 
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18. Breast Gal
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Great chapter - a lot of variety, from Willow's mother, to Tara's friends, to the two fathers, to Faith and Buffy. I liked their fight, by the way - especially how they both suddenly paused, realised they were fighting, and decided to stop. It was funny to read, but at the same time it shows a real maturity in their relationship, that they can back off and realise that there's more important things than winning the argument. Buffy and Faith's relationship has been fun to read so far, but that scene really sold it as a relationship, for me.

(For the record, I'm with Buffy on not having Columbo watching the bed, but Faith is right that Buffy-the-dog gets to be Buffy One.)

Tara showed some real maturity too, recognising what Willow and Sheila needed - an opportunity to start communicating - and making sure they got it, even though she was running the risk of making Willow mad at her. That took guts, and I liked how Tara sought out a little emotional support, even while she stuck to her plan. Willow's realisation was funny too, building a radio - kind of paralleled Faith and Buffy there, reaching a point where she realised she wasn't thinking about what she was doing.

I liked the addition of Willow's blog - that looks to be a really nice spot they've picked out.

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Through the Looking-glass - Every world needs a Willow and Tara.


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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:41 pm 
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Once again, apologies are needed; I have so been neglecting my feedback of late. I don't even have a good reason either, beyond simple, if extreme, procrastination.

Now then, lets see what we've got ... okay, Xander escaped with Spike's little ... excess of enthusiasm, although his brush with the law can't have been fun. Survivors guilt is bad enough with copping shit like that.

It took some stones for Tara to lodge that complaint, especially considering the resulting fallout. I'm glad to see Spike baulked at threatening Faith, and then Willow, but Lindsay ... he seriously needs to be taken out of the picture. His whole argument about why Spike's actions weren't wrong was bullshit, and the whole 'should be gods' thing? Jesus! Not only should he not be a Harvester, he shouldn't be a Reaper full stop!

The trip to Seattle was a nice change of pace from the drama. Those nerds at the museum were both hilarious and truly, truly sad, and the proposal itself ... can I just say ow? The best laid plans of mice and men, eh?

The latest update ... the Sunnydale version of Meet the Parents. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but still ... Mr Maclay vs Mr Rosenberg, and then Willow vs Sheila. Chock full of conflict-y goodness.

Faith's family reminiscence was pretty sad, and she's fortunate that she isn't more screwed up than she is. But then she has Tara and Buffy and all the others in her life now, so that's good.

Great work mate.

Cheers,
Paul.

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:52 am 
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What on earth in my life could be so important that I missed three updates???

On the other hand, catching up was heaven - spent a while laughing out loud and getting all riled up about Tara and the Writ.

You've done a great job of throwing in some heavier plot points in to the lightness. Your humor just kicks ass, but the way you play bureacracy for both laughs and drama is marvelous.

Thanks again for writing and posting.

- Boschi


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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:11 pm 
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Very cute and different update with the blog and all.
Loved the exchange between the dads. Such weirdos :P

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:07 pm 
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Thianne - Tara has her butchy-moments, and really does stand up for Willow. For once I would really like to do something nice for Faith, give her a happy family and such. Maybe that'd work great in another story I'm planning.

The original plan was to have Joyce bring the page, but I figured Dawn would be more effective. Cuter too. :)

Looks like I took more than a month for the next update, sorry about that. :blush I hope it was worth the wait, though.

highlandlass25 - Glad you liked the update! Family trouble is bound to happen considering the girls' radically different background. Glad you liked the wedding blog. The idea was inlerf's, though. Credit where credit is due.

Erin - Hope you enjoyed your class. I took a while to write the next part, but I also wanted to to do it right, so I needed a bit of extra time. Next part (epilogue), should be a lot easier to do. The wedding'll be posted in a couple of seconds. :)

Taralicious - Looking for the proper photos to put in the blog was fun enough. I've seen a lot of gorgeous landscapes. And tell me about the jerks roaming around on the net. Plenty of those, sadly. Thankfully this the Kitten is jerk-free, which is more than I can say for most forums out there.

I figured Willow and her mother had to talk to each other before the wedding. And since I really like happy endings, it was something that had to be done. :) I wonder if Sheila should start remembering the names of Willow's friends now.

Chris - Thanks. Since the next two last chapters will be very Willow and Tara heavy, this really was my last chance to focus on Buffy and Faith, which has been more of a B-storyline in Reaper, but no less important that Willow and Tara's story. Glad you liked the outcome of their 'fight'.

Two votes for the dog being Buffy one! :)

I think locking them in was what was needed. The fact that Willow considered actually building a radio shows to what lengths she would go to avoid talking to her mother. There are deep wounds between those two, and they're both subborn as hell so drastic measures were needed, I think.

Paul - No need to apologize. I'm not exacly mister Punctual myself.

excess of enthusiasm. There's a euphemism for 'insane' if ever I've heard one. ;-) Lindsey is an example of a person for whom power has gone to his head. I've never stated implicitly in the story, but there is actually a reason why he's no longer on duty in the field. :kdevil

Willow has a tendancy to overplan. One of the recurring themes in this story is that overplanning is often a bad idea. :) Fun in Seattle and conflict-y parents back in Sunnydale. It was a fun mix of humor and drama to put together.

Faith has certainly had a bad life, but things have been looking up for her since she met Tara, and now Willow's friends through Tara. She deserves a good turn. Glad you liked the updates.

Boschi - Glad you enjoyed catching up. I love mixing humor and drama. It makes the funny bits funnier in my opinion, and the moments more precious. :) Let's just say that the organisation I work for excels in bureaucracy and that I got a lot of examples in real life to draw from.

My pleasure for posting. :)

WillowRulez - Glad you liked the update. The blog was inlerf's idea. :) Also, weirdos make the world go round. The world'd be dull without them. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:11 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Title - Don't fear the Reaper.

Chapter 28 : Imperfect Wedding

Author name - Useful_Oxymoron

Email Address - Viernadevir@hotmail.com

Rating - PG-13. humor about death isn't everybody's cup of tea.

Disclaimer - Well, I don't own Willow or Tara. And if I did, I'd set them free.

Feedback- Is cool. It's always nice to know somebody liked the crap I write.

Summary- Finally, the wedding chapter! But not everything is going smoothly.

Notes- Influences for this story: The wonderful film The Frighteners (which everybody should see), lightly Dead Like Me, Terry Pratchett and the Blue Oyster Cult.

One more part after this one, to nicely close off some plotlines and bring closure. :wtkiss

[hr]
"Whoever said that your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life should have their head examined," Faith thought while she paced up and down the aisle trying to appease the wedding-guests.

Granted, the location was wonderful, a the chapel was overlooking a wooded valley below and there wasn't a proper road in sight. The day was bright and sunny, and a lone bunny was hopping along on the lawn in front of the chapel. Needless to say, Faith ignored Anya's anguished shriek and went on with her business.

Of course, Willow had planned everything that had even remotely something to do with the wedding in minutiae, which only made things so much worse when something went wrong. And a lot had gone wrong today. First of all, the caterers had apparently read Willow's instructions to 'make sure you don't put shrimp in any dish' as 'make sure you put shrimp in EVERY dish', meaning that all the edibles in the house would be a one-way trip to the Afterlife for Tara.

Also, since there wasn't a proper road, many guests arrived late and complained about not being able to find parking space.

The pasty-chef apparently didn't grasp the concept of a lesbian wedding and had put a confectionary bride and male groom on top of the cake. Though saying that this invoked Willow's wrath would be an understatement, the sugar-crazed Dawn was only too eager to dispose of the evidence, thus solving at least one problem. Unfortunately, it created another problem of a sugared-up hyperactive Dawn flying up the walls of the chapel.

A bigger issue was that Tara's guests were all wearing Reaper dress-robes and carried ceremonial scythes, even though Tara had explicitly asked them not to on the invitation. Needless to say, that attracted a lot of attention and questions from Willow's guests, which included family, friends and co-workers. Faith, Buffy and Xander managed to keep things from getting out of hand, but just barely, and they didn't know how long the cover-story of 'Well, Tara's family are actually druids' would hold.

The biggest problem would be Donny. Despite not having been invited, he had shown up anyway and had been loudly protesting the entire wedding, which he claimed to be a farce. Though Tara was too much of a sweetheart to send him packing, Donald Maclay had some words with his son, which did help a bit. But Faith's no-so veiled threat about doing terrible things to his tender bits with a blunt rusty breadknife had finally managed to quiet him down. For now, at least.

On top of that, one bride was too nervous to come out of the dressing room and the other was stricken with grief. Faith and Xander, having to share the position of Best Person, had their hands full with it.

"Faith?" she heard her named and swiveled around to see Joyce and Mr. Maclay walking up to her. "We were wondering if you might check in on Tara."

"My daughter isn't listening to me," Donald sighed. "I can't persuade her to come out. Maybe you could...?"

"The poor thing," Joyce shook her head. "She's shaking all over."

"I'll take care of her, don't worry," Faith replied. "T. and I are thick as water. Very thick and close friendly-like water, that is. Or is that ice?"

"There goes a good friend," Joyce said as Faith immediately headed to the back room.

"Faith is... strange," Donald said. "But Tara is a good judge of character, so I suppose she can't be all bad..."

"Hm, did I mention she is dating my daughter? Buffy is always talking about her... Oh, did I introduce you to my boyfriend Rupert?"

---

"Hey, Wills," Xander spoke softly when he approached his best friend. The red-haired girl looked stunningly gorgeous in her white dress. Rather than the traditional long puffy dresses, the girls had decided to go from a more stylish and slightly revealing dresses. Certainly, Willow was showing a lot more leg than she had, well, ever. More arm as well. It was just amazing how wonderful that dressed wrapped around her body and...

Ah, bad brain. BAD! Xander told his brain. Stop having sexy thoughts about your best friend, you evil bastard! Must... only... use... brain-powers... for... GOOD! Whoa, Tara's a lucky girl, though. Oh, more bad thoughts. Must... not... think... about my lesbian friends in that... way. Must... stop... thinking... like... William... Shatner! Brain overload!

When Willow turned around, Xander's heart shattered, along with any erotic thoughts he had at the moment. Willow's face showed the pout to end all pouts, and was marred by the trails of fallen tears on her delicate cheeks. The girl flew into Xander's arms and sobbed quietly.

"They're not coming," Willow sniffed. "I can't believe they're not coming."

"Oh, Wills," Xander whispered and did his best to console her. "You know, maybe they're just late because they can't find the road? Some of the other guests couldn't..."

"No," Willow spoke coldly. "They would have called ahead. All the others called ahead. They didn't... God, they've been letting me down all my life and now this. I... don't get it, I just don't get it. I... can understand mom not wanting to come... She still has problems with my gayness, but dad... Dad and I were getting so close again, and now..."

"It's okay, Will, it's okay," Xander said, but regretted his words as soon as they left his mouth. As someone having had an unhappy family-life himself, he knew what it was like to be betrayed by your own parents time and again. It would never, ever be 'okay'.

If Willow minded Xander's faux-pas, she didn't show it, and was only too happy to accept a hug from him.

"How's my little Willow?" asked Willow's uncle Hershel. Uncle Hershel, in full rabbi garb, gave Willow a warm hug. Willow babbled incoherently into her uncle's shoulder in response. "Oh, poor girl," he sighed. "The only tears a bride should let on her wedding day are tears of happiness."

Xander shook his head. "Willow's parents are good at making her cry," he sighed. "Worst thing is, most of the time they don't even realize it."

"Tell me about it. No parents in sight?" Hershel asked over Willow's shoulder.

Xander checked the road briefly and shook his head calmly. Uncle Hershel muttered something in Yiddish which Xander couldn't understand, but could guess wasn't very flattering.

"I swear, I'm going to tear them a new A. when they finally show up. The wedding's supposed to have started already, and they're still not here. Not even so much as a message."

"I want Tara," Willow sobbed. "I don't care if it's bad luck to see each other before the wedding, I really need Tara right now."

"Alright," Xander tried to contain his own sadness and gave Willow an encouraging smile. "Let's go see Tara."

---

"Alright," Faith said as she strolled into the back room. In the back of a chapel were private dressing rooms where the bride and groom, or both brides in this case, could prepare for the ceremony. They were sparsely decorated, but well lit and provided with plenty of fragrant flowers. Right now, Tara seemed like she couldn't care less about the flowers. In the short minute that Faith had entered the room, Tara had been alternating between pacing about, sitting down, fiddling with her dress, pacing again and finally sitting down again to fiddle with her dress.

"It's this dress," Tara sighed heavily and fiddled with it yet again, pulling it down a bit. "It... it doesn't fit."

"Funny," Faith crossed her arms. "You told me it fit perfectly when you tried it on at the bridal shop."

"Well, maybe it shrunk," Tara sighed. "Or maybe I gained some weight, I dunno."

Faith closed the door and sat down on the bench next to a very nervous Tara. So nervous, in fact, that Tara briefly recoiled when Faith put an arm around her shoulders to lend her some support. Tara relaxed slightly.

"All those people..." Tara whispered. "I... I'm going out there to bear my soul to the love of my life, but... those p-people... they're all going to be l-looking at me. And... I think I can handle that, b-but the moment I s-stand up to walk to the door, I... just f-freeze."

"Can't help it, T." Faith tried. "It's a wedding. The bride's sort of the center of attention by default."

"I know," Tara sighed. "But I don't have to like it."

Faith bit her lip for a moment as she thought about Tara's predicament. "Hm, you need to focus on something else. Hm, all you have to think about is your wedding night at the end of this. You. Willow. A bed. Door locked for two days. Sounds like a good deal to me, T."

Tara blushed slightly. "Is sex all you ever think about, Faith?" she chuckled uneasily.

"Lessee, what's up here," Faith felt her forehead. "Hm, sex, PlayStation 2, sex, creative Harvestings, more sex, naked Buffy... Yep, that's all there is. Not much room for anything else on my memory card. And don't change the subject! So come on, just think of doing the 'UH!' with Willow later on and you'll get through fine."

"You grunting is sort of disturbing," Tara replied.

"Okay, it's a cliche, but you could always imagine all the guests are in their underwear. I do that all the time, T. Did you know your brother wears pink panties that are three sizes too small?"

Tara snickered in spite of herself.

"See?" Faith smirked. "Made you laugh."

Tara shook her head. "You always know how to make me feel better about myself, Faith."

"What's really the matter here, T? You think she's gonna say no?"

"No," Tara replied. "I mean, yes. Uh, no. No, no, no. Uh, yes, no, um, y-yes...." Tara paused a moment to take a deep breath.

"Okay, not helping here," Faith bit her lip. "Come on, T. You and Red have gotten this far, what can go wrong? I've seen you all over each other at movie-nights. The two of you are always together, so... Wait," Faith raised an eyebrow. "You're not planning to say 'no' to her, are you?"

"No!" Tara turned to Faith with a horrified expression on her face. "Uh, yes? Uh, no? I mean, no I'm not planning to say 'no' to her. God, I love her, I could never do that to her. And, I want to get married, it's just that... it's all h-happening now and... all those people out there... that s-scares me. Does that make any sense?"

Faith smiled and softly pressed her fist into Tara's shoulder. "I bet that if you would have let me take you into that strip-joint yesterday, you'd be more confident about yourself now. I swear, I would have bought you the steamiest lap-dance you could have imagined, T."

"Faith," Tara blushed deeply. "That movie you made me watch was embarrassing enough."

"Hey, it was your stag-party," Faith playfully raised an eyebrow. "Raunchy movies are a stag-party tradition. Besides, what's wrong with a crap exploitation-movie starring barely legal kung-fu fighting bikini-clad lesbian vampires?"

Tara's stag-party was a quiet one. It was just her and Faith, enjoying themselves in Faith and Buffy's new apartment while Buffy was off with Willow for her stag-party. Tara had declined Faith's offer to got to the Venus Lounge at the outskirts of Sunnydale, so instead the two stayed at home to enjoy each other's company, watch crap movies and playing games. It was far from the world's raunchiest stag-party, but it suited Tara fine. Besides, if Tara'd even want to be on the receiving end of a lap-dance, it'd have to be from Willow and nobody else.

Yep, Faith was right. I need to focus...Tara's thoughts drifted away to a dancing Willow. Willow moving her lithe, elfin-like body to the music, her long red hair whipping around her body, the light cascading off her beautiful soft skin, piercing green eyes that looked at her intently and practically whispered 'I love you'...

Whoa, I didn't think Willow could dance that good, Tara thought before her mind drifted back to reality and she found Faith smiling at her.

"You were miles away there, T," said Faith. "Getting ready to go out there?"

"Increasingly so," Tara blinked.

Faith leaned back slightly and reached for a water-bottle on the table next to the mirror. "Hmm," she said after taking a swig. "Seems only yesterday since we first met at our basic Collector graduation. "

Tara smiled. She and Faith had become good friends almost from the moment they had met. "And we became roommates when we got our Advanced Training."

"Yeah," Faith grinned. "I had to bribe a couple of flakes at the Head Office to get that done. Heh, you know how those pencil pushers are: if it's on paper and sighed by the high-ups, it's the truth. Even if it says America was founded by Martian Invaders."

"Oh, what a horrible room that was," Tara chuckled. "Top floor, corner room. Took ages to get up the stairs, half of the room had a ceiling too low to stand under, hot as hell in the summer, cold as ice in winter."

"Paper-thin walls," Faith reminisced, "terrible TV-reception, couldn't shower and cook at the same time, horrible electrics, fire hazard, crappy furniture. The beds collapsed when you looked at them."

"It was hell," Tara shook her head.

"But all the fun we had in that dorm, T," Faith laughed.

"Oh, yeah," Tara smiled to herself. "Three years of fun. It was so strange when we moved out and you didn't live with me anymore."

"Ditto," Faith smiled. "Why do you think I popped over so many times?"

"You still do," said Tara. "We were always taking care of each other, remember? You do have a talent for getting us into trouble, Faith."

Faith laugh and slapped Tara on the shoulder. "Well, since you are quite good at getting us OUT of trouble, that suited me fine."

"Remember the time we were practising our ethereal abilities, and you were trying to phase through a wall and got stuck, then panicked?" Tara asked.

"I'm trying to forget," Faith sighed. "I was too embarrassed to let you go and get help, so I asked you to yank me free. Compassion was always your strong suit, T. Remember that old granny? You sat at her deathbed for hours so she wouldn't die alone. You knew she couldn't see or hear you, but you stayed anyway. Hell, I'd have been bored stiff."

"And what about your morbid creativity?" Tara gave her a half-smile. "Like Harvesting that Egyptologist by animating a mummy which gave him a heart attack."

"I agree I went a little too far there," Faith sighed. "And if any of the high-ups found out about that, I'd be thrown out of the Harvester corps so quickly I'd break the sound barrier. Point being that, well, things are moving fast, T. You're getting married, life of your own. I'm dating Buffy, life of my own. Weird."

"I know," Tara smiled wistfully for a moment. "I t-think I'm ready to go out there now."

"Good," Faith smiled. "Go out there, get married, get laid. In that order. Oh, and try to get into the hotel-room first, T."

Tara chuckled for a moment before she rose from her seat, took a deep breath and got ready to step up to the altar. "I'll try..."

"Tara," Faith remained seated and spoke softly, carefully avoiding Tara's questioning look. "I, uh, I never really, um... So, um, what I wanted to say..." she paused for a moment. "Thank you... for being my friend and all. I mean, I don't know what I'd have ended up being like if I'd never have met you."

Tara blushed sightly and smiled. "I, uh, well, I'm sure I would have been a whole lot lonelier without having you around."

The two friends shared a silent smile for a moment. And just as Tara was about to walk to the door to face the music, a knock sounded.

"Tara?" said Willow's aunt Jennifer from the other side of the door. "Tara, are you descent?"

"No!" Faith joked.

"Don't mind Faith," Tara chuckled. "Come on in."

Tara never expected to see the bride -the other bride- before the wedding. And Willow looked so stunningly gorgeous... until Tara noticed the tears. Immediately, Willow flung herself in Tara's arms.

"Faith, I think the brides need to talk for a moment," Jennifer said softly. "And, um, I think we could use some extra crowd control."

---

"What's the situation, Faith?" Buffy asked when she returned from solving a nasty dispute between the caterers and one of the guests on the nature of vegetarian delights.

"Xander's dying out there," Faith sighed. "Maybe literally if he strays too close to some of the Reapers."

The crowd was getting somewhat rowdy. The wedding should have been well underway and some of the guests couldn't understand why there was a delay in the first place. Willow's family, some of which she hadn't seen since she was two months old, was the largest and rowdiest group. While most of them were patient and respectful, a small yet vocal minority had been complaining about everything and was now concentrating on the 'black robed freaks' sitting on the opposite side of the aisle.

The Reapers were stoic about everything, but the tension emanating from them was very tangible. Some Reapers looked ready to leap into the other group and Harvest at their heart's content. Certainly Spike and Drusilla wouldn't need much convincing to viciously slaughter some of Willow's annoying cousins. To make sure that didn't happen, Xander had lent Drusilla his Gameboy. As long as Drusilla was occupied with making Mario jump, she would not make people die.

So far the most well-behaved group were Willow's friends and co-workers. Larry and his boyfriend ignored the rowdiness, as did Laska and Phaere. Of course, they had heard ignorance of the type Willow's cousins displayed many times before.

And Xander was standing in the middle, trying to keep the crowd occupied by performing silly magic tricks and juggling a couple of tennisballs he found in the trunk of his uncle's car.

"OH MY GOD! SHE'S GOT A GUN!"

Faith and Buffy whipped around to find Anya coming out of the back-office carrying a shotgun. Willow's family duck-and-covered while the Reapers remained in their seats, patiently waiting for that which might come. Willow's friends and co-workers, having heard enough stories about Anya from Willow, weren't surprised at all and continued chatting amongst themselves.

"Anya!" Xander shouted just before two tennis-balls dropped on his head. "What are you doing?!"

"Taking out that monster on the lawn before it disturbs the wedding!" Anya replied and cocked the shotgun. "It's wabbit-season!"

"Anya, put the gun away before your hurt yourself!" Buffy shouted, while Faith raised an eyebrow in amusement.

"Well, that's no ordinary rabbit!" Anya retorted. "That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!"

"It's just a bunny, leave it alone!" Xander said.

"Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer! He'll do you up a treat, mate," Anya crossed her arms, and by doing so, accidentally pointed the shotgun right at the band. The lead singer shrieked like a cheerleader and ran out the door, followed by the rest of the band.

"What's he do, nibble your bum?" Spike called from the audience.

"He's got huge, sharp-- eh-- he can leap about-- look at the bones!" Anya spoke. "You can't see them, because he buried them all!"

Joyce finally stepped in and wrenched the shotgun from Anya's hands. "Okay, that's quite enough of that, young lady," she spoke. "You come to Willow's wedding and try to do murder? Where'd you get that thing anyway?"

"This is America," Anya shrugged. "You can find those things lying around in trunks. Ah, god bless this country. Sure, all those Europeans have their gun-laws, pffft... But if there's ever a zombie-holocaust, the US will be the safest place to be, because there's guns everywhere! And Europeans? All zombie-chow."

"Alright!" Xander addressed Willow's frightened family. "Calm down, it's all over now. No more guns and, uhm, excuse Anya, she's, um, certifiable."

"HEY!" replied Anya before Buffy dragged her away. "I'm just looking out for everybody's well-being!"

"Great, the band's run away now," Faith sighed. "That's another problem to deal with. If I had known that being a best person would be so much work, I'd have told Tara to pick Buffy instead."

"I can play the flute!" Dawn piped up. "Can I play the flute? I really wanna play the flute. You let me play the flute?"

Faith snorted. "You can be the entire band, pip-squeak."

"Cool!"

---

"I just can't believe it," Willow sniffed while she had lain her head in Tara's lap and her love was stroking her long red hair. "Everything is going wrong."

Tara smiled softly, but felt very sorry for Willow. Willow has a tendancy to over-plan everything, and when things didn't work out as expected, this often led to deep disappointment. And Willow had wanted their wedding to be absolutely perfect.

"Sweetie, let it all out," Tara whispered. "I'm here for you."

"I mean, first the cake, then the road... The band doesn't know our song, there weren't enough seats for the guests, Anya yelling and screaming about that rabbit, your brother showing up... Oh, god, why did I ever let my mother talk me into inviting my entire family? I mean, a lot of them think gay people are sinners and then those awful comments about your guests being 'pagan druid freaks'. I'm so embarrassed."

"Well," Tara shrugged. "It's their own fault. The invitations said that they shouldn't bring robes, but I guess Reapers are suckers for tradition."

"It's no excuse for my family being rude," Willow sniffed. "But the worst..." she managed to say before starting to sob again.

And Tara was angry. Angry at Willow's parents. Tara realized that Willow's mother had problems with Willow's sexuality, but that was no excuse for dodging the wedding after promising she would come. And she didn't even call to say she would not come. She also found it surprising that Willow's dad was a no-show. Maybe Sheila had something to do with that.

Tara supposed she should give them the benefit of the doubt, though reluctantly, because they had not called ahead. But the tears of her beloved left very little room for that kind of tolerance.

"M-maybe we should call the whole thing off," Willow sniffed. "We could try again. With only our friends and uncle Hershel and aunt Jennifer there."

"Why?" Tara asked. "You're here. I'm here. Our friends are here. And, admit it, this is a wedding day we'll never forget."

Willow smiled in spite of herself. "I got to see you before the wedding," Willow whispered. "That's supposed to be bad luck, isn't it? But you do look so beautiful."

The two lovers watched each other intently for a moment. "Do you mean it? Do you want to go through with the wedding despite that it's a complete mess?" said Willow.

"I don't need to have a perfect wedding," Tara smiled and brushed away Willow's tears. "Just as long as I have you when it's over."

"I want to be your wife, Tara," Willow said resolutely, resolve-face and everything. "You're right, nothing else matters."

"Let's go out there, then," Tara took a few deep breaths and stood up, taking her fiancee by the hand. Together they stepped towards the door. Only to have it fly open to reveal uncle Hershel... and Willow's parents.

"Oh, honey," Ira said before taking her flabbergasted daughter in a massive hug. "I'm so very sorry. Don't tell me we've missed it. I'll never forgive myself if we've missed it. I'm so very sorry."

"D-dad," Willow gasped. "Lungs... need... air!"

"Sorry," Ira replied, loosening his grip somewhat but still not letting go. "This is all our fault, I'm so sorry. I swear, Willow, one day, I'll make this up to you."

"I... I'm just glad you're here, dad," Willow finally returned the hug. Tara stood by the side and saw the relief wash over Willow's face. She looked really comfortable being hugged by her father... actually, Tara considered that this might actually be one of the first hugs her father had ever given her.

Behind the father and daughter, next to an increasingly irate uncle Hershel, stood Sheila Rosenberg. "Look, I don't see how this is our fault. There wouldn't have been any trouble if you had just held the wedding in the synagogue in Sunnydale."

"I've told you before, Sheila," Hershel spoke through gritted teeth. "Three reasons. One: that particular synagogue isn't exactly gay friendly. Two: Willow isn't a practising Jew. Three: Tara isn't Jewish at all! Conclusion: they can have the wedding wherever they feel comfortable to hold it. For a smart woman, you certainly are stupid."

"It isn't my fault!" Sheila replied sharply. "It's this mountain road. The GPS system couldn't cope with it, and our cellphone doesn't roam in this area."

"Ah, Willow's mom has arrived," Buffy spoke up as she and her mother came walking into the room. "Good. Find your seat, plop your butt down and shut up."

Sheila blinked, then turned to Joyce. "Did you just hear what your daughter Bunny said to me? How rude!"

"For the last time, Sheila, her name is Buffy. And I believe my daughter told me to find your seat, sit your ass down and shut up," Joyce replied sharply. "Now if you'll excuse us, Buffy and I need to fix up Willow's make-up."

"But..."

"Sheila," Hershel growled. "If you know what's good for you, you'll find your seat, sit down and keep your mouth shut until the wedding's over!"

---

And finally, the wedding started like it was supposed to. It had been a real challenge to mix the traditions of a Jewish wedding with a Reaper wedding, but they had managed to cobble together a ceremony which would do justice to both and without revealing the truth about the Reapers to uncle Hershel.

Uncle Hershel and Darla, in the capacity of Tara's superior, stood behind the altar. After giving a sign to the band, now being Dawn, started to play the song. Dawn did surprisingly well to play a convincing wedding march, even though the only song she knew was the 'Washington Post March'.

Finally, a very nervous Tara was led across the aisle, hand in hand with her father, who slowly led her towards the altar. When they arrived, Tara stood in front of Darla while her father moved to stand next to the altar. All eyes turned to the aisle yet again when the second bride stepped up, arm-in-arm with her father. Willow was smiling radiantly as she was led up to the altar.

The two brides finally stood next to each other. Willow gently took Tara's hand and squeezed slightly, drawing a weak smile from the nervous Tara. But as soon as their eyes met, Tara blushed slightly and looked away again.

"Ahum," Tara's father spoke up. "I, Donald Maclay, as oldest living member of the Maclay line, formally welcome Willow Rosenberg to our family. All that is ours is yours. I recognize Tara's judgment in choosing a life-partner and wish you both the best of happiness."

"I, Darla Cook," spoke Darla, "acting as Tara's superior, will preside over the ceremony, along with Hershel Rosenberg in this case. I will speak of Tara's record. As Senior Collector, Tara's performance has been exemplary and worthy of nothing but praise. I am without a doubt that Tara stands at the beginning of a fine career that will be worthy of you, Willow Rosenberg."

Tara blushed brightly, not being used to praised. Willow merely smiled at her soon-to-be-wife and squeeze her hand again.

Now, it was Tara's turn to act. She gently reached over to Willow's dress and covered Willow's face with a light veil. It pained Tara to do so, because it also partly obscure Willow's radiant smile. It was then that Willow truly wanted to be her wife, more than anything in the world. Though Tara found the idea to be wonderful, her confidence took a dent because of it. She took a few deep breaths before she and Willow stepped underneath the chuppah.

The chuppah, a sheet suspended above four poles, was meant to symbolize the home the two brides would build together. And it was underneath the chuppah that they would be wed.

The next few moments were spent listening to uncle Hershel reading choice bits from the Torah, and Darla holding a few short speeches on the nature of Death. Finally, Hershel moved on to the next phase of the wedding.

"And if any of those present have objections to this union, sp..."

"Don't even think about it, buddy-boy!" sounded Faith. Turning around, Willow and Tara saw Faith holding her scythe at the throat of Donny. Faith winked at the brides. "Carry on," she said.

"I'll take that as a no, then," Hershel chuckled.

"Alright," Darla said. "First of all, sign these marriage certificates in three-fold please. There are five of them."

"Five in threefold?" Willow asked.

"Five departments," Darla shrugged. "Five different files and file-systems. Don't ask me why."

After the girls had signed the contracts. Afterwards Darla put a small table forward. On the table was an object covered by a cloth. Removing the cloth revealed a live-sized golden skull. "Please place your right hands on the skull. This is the time to exchange your vows in the sight of Anubis. Willow?"

Willow took a deep breath and looked her lover right in the eyes. "Tara," Willow started. "I've looked for the words to say how much you mean to me, but... no mere words would do it justice. But since I'm good at talking, I'll try to. Tara, baby, the day I met you was the first day I truly felt alive. And from day one you've always been there for me. You were there to dry my tears when I was sad. You were there to listen to my babbles when I was upset. You were there whenever I needed you the most. You were always there to love me unconditionally. Tara, I don't know what I would do without you. I can't imagine life without you. I need you. You're my always. My everything. I want to marry you today, Tara. I want to share my life with you, grow old with you. Because I love you, now and forever."

"Tara?" Darla asked.

"Uhm," Tara said, still reeling from Willow proclamation of love. With her free hand, she fished a piece of paper from underneath the skull, which she had placed there because her dress didn't have any pockets. She scraped her throat to read it aloud, but found the letters swimming in front of her eyes. "I, uh. I... W-w-willow, I..." she stammered, feeling every single set of eyes boring straight into her skull. "I... uhm... I w...." Tara felt her vision starting to blur, her nerves giving away. She was almost reeling, ready to keen over backwards. "I, Willow, sweetie," she said, dropping the piece of paper. "C-can I just say that I love you so very, very much and that I want to be with you forever?"

"Sure, baby," Willow smiled, tears forming in her eyes.

"Right," Hershel grinned. "Let's move on to the good part. Best persons?"

Xander and Faith stepped up to the altar. Xander handed Tara her ring, and Faith handed Willow hers.

"Willow Danielle Rosenberg," said Darla. "Do you take Tamara Elizabeth Maclay to be your beloved wife?"

"Yes. Yes, definitely a yes!" Willow smiled warmly.

"Tamara Elizabeth Maclay," said Hershel. "Do you take Willow Danielle Rosenberg to be your beloved wife?"

"Oh, yes..." Tara whispered. The two brides gently put the rings on each other's finger, after which Hershel handed Willow a glass chalice filled with wine. Willow lifted her veil to take a small sip, then handed the chalice to Tara, who did the same. Together, the brides them smashed the chalice by dropping it to the ground.

"Very well," Hershel smiled brightly. "I now pronounce you, well, wife and wife, I suppose. You brides may kiss."

This was the moment Tara had been waiting for. She no longer cared that so many people were watching her. She just wanted to kiss Willow like she had never been kissed before. She gently lifted Willow's veil and saw in her eyes that Willow had the same idea. The two lovers embraced each other gently before pressing theirs lips together. It started tentatively at first, but soon their kiss deepened. In that moment, only she and Willow existed, nothing else mattered.

"Well, ladies. Your... Uh, ladies?" Hershel raised an eyebrow as the two girls continued their kissage.

"Ladies?" he asked again.

"Somebody get a bucket of water!" Anya shouted over the crowd.

And in the first row, Joyce handed a hankerchief to Sheila. For she had finally seen the light.

---

"You're ready for band-camp, Dawn," Faith complemented Dawn while they followed the brides out to their car.

"No daughter of mine is going to any band-camp!" Joyce protested. "Bunch of teen perverts over there!"

Willow's red lovebug was waiting for them in the car park, complete with the traditional 'Just Married'-sign and plenty of empty cans tied to the bumper with bits of string. Tara sat down in the car, while Willow waited for a moment and tossed her bridal bouquet into the cheering crowd. As Willow entered the driver's seat, they noticed that the bouquet had hit Buffy square in the face. While a smiling Buffy made eyes at her own lover, Tara considered that she had never seen Faith turn quite as pale as quickly as that before.

Under loud cheers, the lovebug drove off into the sunset.

"Well, here we go," Willow pushed a cd into the car's stereo as they rounded about the corner and drove over the mountain road. Immediately, a loud industrial technobeat was regurgitated from the speakers. Willow quickly pressed 'eject' and blushed slightly. "Uh, sorry, that's the Command & Conquer soundtrack," she muttered before going through the stack of CD's while keeping one eye on the road.

"Geek," Tara joked, offering that wonderful half-smile of hers.

"Hey," Willow mock-pouted. "Don't call your wife a geek... Witch."

"Oh, I can't call you a geek, but you're allowed to call me a witch?" Tara crossed her arms.

"Yup," Willow smirked and put in another CD.

    Get your motor runnin'
    Head out on the highway
    Lookin' for adventure
    And whatever comes our way


But before the song had even fully started, there was a loud bang from the front of their car, following by a metallic screech and a rubbery flapping sound. After the car came to a stop, the two women shared a look. After a quick inspection, Willow came to the startling conclusion that she had driven over a beer-bottle.

"I don't believe it," Willow sighed. "It's been one of those days. Probably only one beer bottle lying on the road in a 500 mile radius and I just had drive over it. Murphy did it again. Tara, can you look in the glovebox for the number of triple A while I try to see if my cell has reach here?"

Tara agreed and opened the glovebox... to find a sealed envelope with 'W+T' written on it. She opened the envelope and read it.

"What is it?" Willow asked.

"It reads 'Dear Red and T. You found this envelope just in time to make use of my wedding present. Through some creative bribing and swindling, I have managed to reserve the luxurious wedding suite in the expensive love hotel in Mexico City. Just in time for a very fun wedding night. Your room is booked up for two days. I took the liberty of stashing your cloak and scythe in the boot so you can get there quickly. Don't worry about your car, I've got you covered. Have fun... don't do any things I wouldn't do!

Love,
Faith.

P.S. Sorry about the beer-bottle.'
"

"Mexico City?" Willow asked. "How are we going to get... Oh, scythe power."

"Willow, sweetie," Tara smiled. "Let's not make any plans. After our wedding night, we'll just wing it for the next three weeks. We'll just see where the scythe bring us."

"No plans? But how do we know what to bring? How much we need? What we..." Willow thought for a moment. "Alright, no plans. I just need you."

"Only you, sweetie. Only you."

"Uh, are you sure we can't make any plans? Cause, you know, that's kinda... scary. I mean, what if we get there and we find out we desperately need something and can't get it anywhere and we'll panic and things go wrong and we'll get in trouble or we'll be arrested or we'll get hurt or we'll..."

"Alright," Tara shushed Willow by putting a finger to her lips. "We can make a few plans."

"Okay, okay," Willow nodded. "A few plans. I can handle that."

"Just a few."

"Okay."

"No diagrams."

"But..."

"No schedules..."

"Hey!"

"No graphs..."

"Oh, come on!"

"No excel-sheets."

"But..."

"Just charts. Nothing more."

"Charts... I can handle that."

And so Willow and Tara started with the rest of their lives.
[hr]

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:45 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Brillant! I love it. It came at just the right time to provide a well-needed distraction from my final papers. Thanks so much. I have really enjoyed this story and I'm kind of sad that it's almost over, but this was such a cute update.

Epilogue soon please?


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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:49 pm 
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14. Lesbo Street Cred

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Oh it's going to just blow gopher guts when this is over.

Great update U.O.

[blockquote]Must... stop... thinking... like... William... Shatner! [/blockquote]

absolutely cracked me up.

and the whole
[blockquote]
"Just charts. Nothing more." [/blockquote]
exchange was just appallingly sweet.

:clap


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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:43 am 
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13. Big Knowledge Woman
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that was a great, great, great update. and Buffy and Joyce telling Sheila off! that was PRECIOUS! :lol

not to mention Faith stopping Donny, or the cuteness of Tara's wedding vows.

truly brilliant, thank you so much for sharing

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:21 pm 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Well I am glad Sheila finally got it her daughter is in love and happy!!!!! This is the greatest and thay fit each other so well cant wait for more :wtkiss


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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 10/23)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:20 am 
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18. Breast Gal
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Aww, they're finally on their way :party And let's be honest, it wouldn't have been a proper Don't fear the Reaper wedding without all that chaosin the proceedings. Dawn being the band :lol And especially Anya freaking out Python-style at the killer bunny - pity she didn't send Donnie out to take care of it and get his head bitten off in the process.

I really liked how the wedding had the traditional 'wedding things' going for it - the tender declarations of love, the pre-wedding jitters - and at the same time enjoyed all sorts of 'anti-wedding' fun elements, like Willow and Tara getting to comfort each other beforehand. That was so sweet - and as for bad luck, I think they already got the bad luck that caused back when Willow proposed, so this just set the scales even again.

I got a giggle out of the two of them being married in the sight of Anubis, remembering what the big guy is like - I'm sure he'd give them a thumbs-up and a "Yo," from wherever he's hanging out. Oh, and the Command & Conquer soundtrack in the wedding-mobile, that was hilarious.

Only one chapter left though? :paranoid Whatever will we do without Reaper goodness? (Well, there was that other story you let me take a look at chapter one of, so all's well :D )

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 12/04)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:56 pm 
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UO,
Note to Peter Cottontail, Peter Rabbit, and all other hares whose first name is not a phallic euphemism. The Bunny Trail at the end of which is the clearing in which Willow and Tara were marries is one you definitely do not, under any circumstances, want to be hopping down.
This is due primarily to the insane member of the wedding party toting the shotgun and she isn't even one of the brides' fathers.
Willow has always been endearingly obsessive-compulsive up to now limited to making lists and organizing the small-time stuff so why should anyone be surprised that she would try and pit her organizational prowess against Chaos Theory upon the singular event marking the start of her life with Tara?
Never bet against the house or against Chaos Theory she learns, much to her chagrin and needs to seek solace in the comfort and secutrity of her wife's bosom to recuperate from the calculated gamble.
Having words with Donny was never going to solve anything so I'm glad that Faith was there to watch Willow and Tara's backs with the good ol' rusty breadknife ploy.
Well, this is a fine mess Xander's found himself in, consoling his best friend who happens to be a rather hot-looking woman in her wedding gown, as he's finally discovered.
Quote:
So come on, just think of doing the 'UH!' with Willow later on and you'll get through fine."

"You grunting is sort of disturbing," Tara replied


Funny, I was thinking that Faith grunting was really hot especially if Buffy was with her.
WIllow giving Tara a lap dance; a video of that is all I want in my stocking and I'd be glued to the tv set for days.
I didn't really think that WIllow's dad would allow he and her mother to miss the wedding not since he had made good progress with Willow and even Sheila had taken the first step towards acceptance and reconciliation.
The ceremony itself was a nice blend of the traditional and unusual i.e, arcane.
The description of Tara's family and friends as Druids reminded of Xander/Anya's almost wedding and the description of Anya's people as 'circus folk.'
After lingering on the visual yumminess of their kiss, can I just close by saying what a splendid and heartening characterization of Faith you have drawn throughout the tale.
In this variation, she has had Tara as a surrogate sister to lean on and makes one last noble gesture towards her in the honeymoon present.

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 12/04)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:26 pm 
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G'day UO!

I might have to cut this short, since the PTB's have decided to give me my own personal supernova ... right behind my left eye. Damn migraine.

Anyhoo, way for weddings! Double yay for Willow and Tara's wedding! Belly laughs for a shotgun wielding Anya! Giggles at one-woman-band Dawn. And a slap on the wrist for Willow's folks ... naughty, naughty. You aren't supposed to mess with the bride's emotions like that!

Donny .... Hey Lassie! Take this wanker over to that well that idiot Timmy keeps falling down, and push the git in, will you.

More to come later ... if I remember. :p

Cheers,
Paul.

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 Post subject: Re: New Uber - Don't fear the Reaper (updated 12/04)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:21 pm 
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Highlandlass25 - Glad to be of service! I hope you did well on your final papers. Glad you liked the update. Epilogue in a few seconds! :-)

Boschi - Glad you liked the update. And though it's almost over, there will be new stories from me. ;-) Appallingly sweet is the best kind of sweet, imo. :)

Thianne - Heh, I've certainly been kicking Sheila around a lot in this story. I did something nice for Willow and Sheila in the epilogue, though, good for a sense of closure. Donny, though, deserves to be thrown into a river with a stone tied to his neck. :kdevil Glad you liked the story!

Dianneswillowtree - There will always be :wtkiss . Last episode will be posted in a few seconds. :)

Chris - Oh, I love chaos. Personally, I believe chaos is the natural state of the universe. :) Plus, chaos is funny and absurdism is my favorite form of humor. :kdevil Donny getting his head bitten off... there's an idea. Perhaps for another story. :kdevil

Good call on the bad luck, though. They probably used up most of their bad luck when Willow proposed! ;-)

Oh, Anubis undoubtedly gave the two his blessing, that's for sure. Couldn't resist adding the C&C soundtrack comment. Oh, there'll be more stories in the future, certainly the one I showed you. I might have another shorter mini-series in between, though, to reset myself as it were, but I'm still waiting to hear back from Xita about that one. :)

taralicious - LOL bout the bunnies. Oh, yeah, Anya's on the warpath. Get to close and they can kiss their furry tails goodbye! :)

Yes, when obsessive planning fails, there's always Tara to fall back on. It was a sweet scene to write and I felt that was really what Willow would need at the time. Seriously, though, sometimes I really feel bad at what I put these characters through.

Quote:
Funny, I was thinking that Faith grunting was really hot especially if Buffy was with her.


True, but I think Tara'd be a bit disturbed by it. :)

Quote:
I didn't really think that WIllow's dad would allow he and her mother to miss the wedding not since he had made good progress with Willow and even Sheila had taken the first step towards acceptance and reconciliation.


Also true. I really wanted to stress that them being late was actually an accident, rather than being done out of malice towards Willow. I hope I succeeded in that. Certainly Willow' dad was very repentive. :)

Thanks about Faith's characterisation. I wanted to keep Faith intact as much as possible, but kept in the back of my mind the idea of what might have happened if the TV-show Faith would have had someone like Tara to be a stabilizing influence on her. Sure, Faith'd still be pretty wild, she'd certainly be less prone to overly violent behaviour. :) Glad you liked the update.

Paul - Hi Paul. Ouch, I hope you're feeling better today.

Shotgun Anya was my own twist on the 'shotgun wedding' concept. :kdevil I'm sure Dawn tried to be a one-girl band, but I'm not sure how the music sounded in the end. Though Willow's parents didn't mean to play with Willow's emotions, this is yet another entry in a long string of disappointments for Willow. (Speaking from behind the scenes, this would be the catalyst that puts an end to this kind of behaviour from Willow's parents and finally starts to put things right.)

LOL at Lassie. Yeah, it's about time that dead-beat Collie started earning his keep around here. He can start by mauling Donny. :kdevil Glad you liked the update

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