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

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 1:40 pm 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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keep it comin you know how I am about your storys my friend


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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:33 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Well it’s my seventh anniversary today. Happy Anniversary, Rachel. I love you. We had a date and went to see Man of the Year which was not good at all. Then dinner but with our son and the babysitter. Now we’re going to watch a video. Mmm. I love love.

Here are a few responses.

Willowhand – Hello. Thanks so much. I’m glad the past narration is working. I really wanted to work from the point of Tara’s waiting and then come to there. Yes, before that point, Tara really didn’t understand the nature of their relationship.

Thanks.

Thianne – Hello.
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aaaahhhh, second dibs! you update and say nothing?!?
I posted in the update thread???

highlandlass25 – Wow, elbow deep? How tall are you or maybe how big is your room? Thanks so much. Six more days…

grimlock72 – Well hello. I hadn’t seen your screen name in a long time and didn’t know you were still around. Welcome back if that’s appropriate.

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The first chapter was a bit hard in that regard, specially because Tara talks about those 'marks' like we should already know about them
I see what you mean. I’m trying to walk a very thin line here in allowing Tara to disclose just enough information about the marks to not leave the reader totally in the cold but at the same time, discuss more about the marks as the story goes on. I will say this: there is a lot to the marks and they are tantamount to this story.

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The setting is interesting, haven't seen too many magic practitioners riding Elephants before
I rarely see anyone riding an elephant but if I were a powerful witch, perhaps I would do so just because I could. Tee hee.

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I tend to be against master/slave type of relations like they had over here in Europe around the middle-ages. I know not ALL masters were bad, it just doesn't sit well with me.
I’m glad to hear that. I certainly have misgivings about that type of relationship so I’m glad that hear that it disturbs you.

I totally think that D’Shel and Tara’s father were both trying to get the best possible position for Dani as well as getting an appropriate companion for Tara. Yes, they could have waited until Dani was old enough to consent to the situation but that would have delayed her education. I’m not saying that I would want to be a bound servant, but given that that is her role, she has kind of the best situation possible in that she will be educated and then bound to a Lady of an estate. Also, if you think about it, Shelia is kind of the one who offered the arrangement so she saw the upside to it. Tara is definitely thick about it and I think will occasionally be seen as thick in other ways in this story.

Lol about the pestering. Thanks so much.

bluebird – Thank you so much. I really appreciate the comments.
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I feel sorry for Wil... um Dani because it must be difficult to grow up with such great friends only to find out your position is below them. It's got to change how you see them and yourself for that matter. I'm sure their interactions will change as they grow up.
Oh I think that’s a given. I mean she is a child and she knows that she’s not their sibling but she doesn’t always know that she’s a servant. And they’re destined for wealth and privilege and she’s not so it will be hard on her we can assume.
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But you promise Willow and Tara smoochies in the future right???
This is the Kitten Board and I am JustSkipIt so that’s a given.

Thanks so much.

WillowRTaraM1 – Thanks so much. Yes, I believe you will find out why Willow’s name is Dani. BTW: Danielle was apparently Willow’s middle name according to a shooting script.

Thanks so much.

MochaVamp – Thank you. Interesting point about Tara’s lacking empathy. I guess here she is just kind of in a situation where she has never needed to really think about anyone else or their deep feelings. Also, I like your terminology of
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the self absorbed aspect that can appear in lovers or the very young.
she very definitely falls into that category here. Thank you and thanks for your insight.

db – Epic? Cool and thank you.

Belli Bear – Hi. I don’t know what that guy is but your avatar is totally cute. Tee hee. Glad to hear that you’re going to be wanting the updates. I am still planning on weekly updates for a while and writing is going well. Thanks.

Safuega – Thank you so much.
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the loss of innocence, the cruelty of the caste system even when the indentured person is not being mistreated, the naivite of a child of wealth and privilege and the heartbreak of a child who understands too well that her fate as a servant has been sealed.
Everything you highlight here is paramount to this story. A caste system like in this universe is ultimately unfair and incredibly hard to live with. You notice that Tara is the one who is obviously tortured by what she finds out rather than Dani (that we see). And Dani is a young child yet she knows already that she is going to be a servant for her entire life. She can have no hope no… nothing.

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Although the tale is from Tara's perspective, I thought you did a great job of highlighting Willow's sad circumstances and pain.
Thank you. That is definitely something I am going for. Willow doesn’t have much of a voice here with the exception of what Tara chooses to notice and chooses to share with us. But I’m glad that it’s coming through. Thank you.

Thank you so much for your comments.

Second Fig – Wow. This is your first post? Welcome and congradulations and thank you. Second Fig as in “I couldn’t give a second fig”? or what?

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the foreshadowing is killing me!
Well, I kind of hope so.

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I do have one question, what happened to D’ni’s mother, she was mentioned in the first chapter but not in the second?
A good question and I apologize that her fate is not more clear. D’Shel is perfectly fine. She is a servant of the house and sees Tara and Dani every day. She was Tara’s wet nurse until she weaned and of course nursed Dani as a baby. It’s just that 1. Dani in a way no longer belongs to D’Shel; she belongs to Tara and 2.This is from Tara’s pov and in her childhood, she wasn’t particularly aware of D’Shel.

Thanks.

watty – Yes, vacation: how about those beavers?


13. Big Knowledge Woman

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I love love love the tone and language of this story, Debra. It's rich and has a restrained elegance to it; almost begging to be read out loud.
Thank you. I have to admit that I hadn’t really considered reading it out loud as it’s not always my strong suit. But I think that this would probably go well. I hear it in my head and like the sound.

Lyrical for sure. That’s a big part of what I’m shooting for—particularly in the first chapter. I wanted something lyrical so that it would sound like a bard telling the story of her parents. Thank you for the observation.

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Part 1 -- I don't think I've ever read a first chapter that captured me so much, in terms of imagery and the sheer non-expositionary nature of the exposition.
Considering the width and breadth of your reading I will say a huge thank you on that. Yes: non-expositionary exposition! That’s kind of exactly what I’m going for. I want Tara/me to tell the reader what the reader needs to know for each chapter as the reader needs to know it and not before. Tara is aware that the reader may not be up to speed but she wants to control the flow of information. So non-expository exposition is a good way to see it.

Tee hee about our marks. What if we needed to change them? Like those people who got tattoos of Bart Simpson on their necks and then found out that Spongebob Squarepants was in and had to go get the Barts lasered off. Of course if everyone got their lover’s name tattooed on them and then you were considering dating them, it might mean something different. I mean the girl says “I love you like no other” and her left arm says “Suzy”, “Christine”, “Darla”, “Wendy”, “JoAnne”, “Jo-Anne”, and “Teresa” and all are crossed out, you might be like, “hmmm. Maybe not.”

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but unexpectedly with a marriage between two such powerful houses, theirs wasn't a political marriage but one of real love. How rare is that.
Yet, you can bet that it was a political thing too with two families that powerful and the oldest daughter (and magic user) married the Lord-to-be? Actually he was Lord at the time of the wedding so it’s a pretty impressive thing.

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And with such simple language, you've given us the meaning of true love. And we still haven't gotten to the Tara/Dani story yet.
I like what you said earlier: non-expository exposition…

Part 2
The family relationship is crucial to this story. I agree that it seems normal although you have to realize that we’re seeing everything through Tara’s eyes. She’s a little like The Buddha or at least Siddhartha who was intentionally sheltered from all suffering as a child. She exists kind of like that: everything in her life is perfect and fun and happy. She has no mother but she never knew her and really never missed her. She has a loving father, siblings, Dani, and household of servants. So yes, it seems normal but that’s partially through an entitled child’s point of view.

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Up to now I don't have a sense that class existed in that household (though it was very clear that it existed in the realm) and I can understand Tara's confusion that Dani is bonded to her, and is her servant -- no, worse, her possession.
Again, I will say that I think that’s partially Tara’s thickness in not comprehending the importance of class. She does say that they are all learning how to recognize someone’s status by watching the way that person is treated by others.

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It's one thing that someone feels strongly towards you or is unfailingly loyal because it's how they feel; it's another when their free will seems to have been taken away from them.
As my mother used to say, “Damn Straight!”

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Is it because they crossed the line somehow? Or wanted so badly to cross that line that they were forced to act the opposite way? Like "I love you so much that I have to leave you"? Wow, this is going to be so intriguing.
Remember SAI? I’ll say again. Good guesses and speculation and I’ll keep it coming.

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Are you going to stick with Tara's pov throughout?
Yes. Absolutely.

Thanks for your thoughts on the title. I think it’s growing on me but there are things about it I don’t like. And thanks for your patience.

spells42 – Thank you so much. I am indeed slowly revealing the customs although I hope it doesn’t appear that Tara is attempting to withhold information; it’s more that she’s telling what she can as she can tell it. I’m glad you liked the families pomp and ceremony and oh yes, much about this society is about showing off. They’re not total asses but everything, everything in their world is about showing who they are and what they are worth (and not just in money).
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it would be easy to overlook the dark undertones and hardship evident in the state of Dani's mother, and the number of 'bonded' members of the household.
Yes. And I think that’s probably what most privileged people do. I will say in their defense that Melanie does tell Tara that she will protect Dani and that is indeed the role that the bonded master/mistress plays. Their servants serve them faithfully but are protected by them. I’m not saying it’s a good trade but there are probably worse ones a person could make.

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Despite the apparently happy (mostly) memories, the tone of Tara's narrative is full of sorrow.
Well… I’m glad that’s working then. There is definitely sorrow here.

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The realisation by the two of them of their respective places in the world - both of them are bound really - is hard for ones so young. I'm curious to see how they handle it as they grow up.
Thanks for your curiosity and keep reading.

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I don't recall Xander....
He won’t show up for quite a while but he will be there. And another problem I’m having: I need a love interest for Anne but I abhor every love interest Buffy ever had on the show and can’t stand the thought of bringing one of them into this universe. I don’t know about that one…

I’m glad you like Buffy/Faith as twins. They kind of are, yes?

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Your beginning reminds me of the scene in canon where Tara waits in the dark, following Oz's return in NMR.
Unless I’ve missed one that’s the first catch of that. Yes. It’s absolutely and directly a reference to that scene. I’ve tried to describe her sitting position in the shot where she is looking out the window as well as the fact that she hasn’t lit a candle.

Thank you so much for your comments.

SallyMcFine – Hi sweetie and welcome to the story. Thank you so much re: fantastic, love the ritual, etc.

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other than the foreshadowing that something bad or catastrophic or something has happened. Masterful use of the technique.
Thank you again. I’m not sure that I’d use the term catastrophe but yes, the foreshadowing is definitely there and will continue to hit you on the head every so often just to keep you thinking about it.

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I guess when you're brought up as the center of a particular universe, if that makes sense, then you're probably not as likely to notice things like that, whereas Willow had to notice the things.
Absolutely! In my responses to Watty, I mentioned the childhood of Siddhartha as being quite like that: center of his particular universe.

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Speaking of their closeness and love, it seems like they were raised as sisters, sort of, and then around age 8 is when the "servant split" came into play. That's good since it was before puberty, because it gives them a little distance between each other before sexual feelings come into play.
An interesting observation re: raised as sisters and sexual feelings. I’m pretty sure that this kind of revelation is actually about age 6 or 7 but I’m intentionally being somewhat vague and not purely linear regarding time.

Thanks so much.

Dianneswillowtree – Thanks so much. Next Tuesday or Wednesday…

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:06 am 
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Happy anniversary wishes to you and Rachel. Love is indeed a wondrous thing.

I must admit, the first part of your latest tale didn't grab me the way it has other folks on the board. But, since it is being crafted by one of my favorite Kitten writers, I've kept reading and the story is growing on me. Now I'm anxious to learn how they grow apart and then come back together.

Thanks for providing such great stories.

Michelle

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:27 am 
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happy anniversary! woot!

and about the update....yes, i saw it after i wrote that :blush sowwie :blush

i'm sorry about the lack of feedback...i promise, i swear i'll find the time. i'm just so busy with school.....i only managed to feedback old fire lately. i promise i'll get to it :kiss

in the meanwhile, do you maybe want a dancing elephant? :pinky :-D

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:59 pm 
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:pinky Happy Anniversary :pinky

and may you watch many vidoes :pride

As for welcoming me 'back', that's ok :) I just have a lot less time available for reading nice forums like these so I've become rather selective of what to read (as I deem feedback nessecary after reading;-)). A new JustSkipIt story can't be missed of course :kgeek


Yeah.. I could see such a mark-for-marriage system have a problem with divorces :-).

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:39 pm 
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OK. You made me cry again, you're evil. Lol.

I can't believe that all this is happening to them at such a young age. And so sudden. It's forcing little Dani to change the way she sees Tara and interacts with her. And I think "forcing" is the key word here:


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“You’re my Dani,” I whispered as I let my fingertips fall through her beautiful hair.

“I know,” she said and there was something in her tone that I couldn’t identify.


I don't doubt for a minute that Dani's love for Tara would have proven that to be true, but the fact that she doesn't get to make that choice is so, so sad. On the other hand, the girls (i.e. Tara, 'cause Dani does already) are still too young to realize what a big elephant in the room this is going to be.

Faith is lovely. I can just picture her running around fields and gardens, and riding, with her dark hair floating on the air...*sigh*.

You have a great tale going on here. I'll be eagerly waiting till next tuesday (or wednesday, as you say...please let it be tuesday? :grin )

Karinna


PS: Congrats on your anniversary. Paola (my wife) and I will be celebrating the exact same deal in 3 months...time flies!

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:14 am 
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A few more replies:

mole – Thank you very much. We had a good weekend. Thank you for the confidence in my story. I can understand it not grabbing you right off. Sometimes that happens to me and sometimes I just keep reading anyway and sometimes I eventually give it up. I hope this is one that you stick with.

Thanks.

Thianne – Thanks for the anniversary wishes. Don’t worry about the feedback; it should be a joy, not a chore. I hope school lets up a little and I’ll still be here when you get time. Thanks for the elephant (that’s what Asher is being for Halloween!).

Have a great week.

grimlock72 – Thanks about the anniversary wishes. I totally get what you’re saying about being more selective. Thanks for ranking this highly enough to read and feedback.

Tee hee: mark for marriage.

Kaia – Made you cry? I’m sorry. Oh I think you’re absolutely correct about this forcing them to change and to interact in a certain way. And they are very young. Their education is beginning around age 6 so from age 6 on, Dani knows what her lot in life is to be. Very sad for her…

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I don't doubt for a minute that Dani's love for Tara would have proven that to be true, but the fact that she doesn't get to make that choice is so, so sad. On the other hand, the girls (i.e. Tara, 'cause Dani does already) are still too young to realize what a big elephant in the room this is going to be.
True on both counts. I think there is a big difference between loving and being devoted to someone through free will and having it decided for you.

Happy Anniversary to both of you!

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:25 am 
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Happy Anniversary! :)

Absolutely great story so far. It's just sucked this reader in and I'm loving the beautiful detailed glimpses into Lady Maclay's world through her eyes. The account of the carefree naivety of her childhood being slowly but surely encroached by the demands of her inevitable adult station in life is quite sad. You capture a young Tara's strong feelings of confusion, helplessness and loss very well. Especially concerning her relationship with Dani who also has to contend with her own fate decided for her.

The unraveling parallel of circumstances between these two protagonists is really intriguing me, as is the foreshadowing of what has become of them. I wonder if The Estate of Roses has a part in it as well as those dreaded marks?

Can't wait for more!

Oh, and my favourite bit so far was the scene where Dani sang to a distressed Tara and she was lulled to sleep despite the godawful singing. Now there's a true test of devotion! :-D

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:27 am 
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Happy Anniversary! And really the more appropriate question would be how big is my table at work. I fix computers which is really ironic considering my occasional irrational hatred of all things technological.

Okay, I can wait a few more days. *is a patient kitty*


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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:33 am 
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Wow, Debra. What a fantastic story you have here. It’s so vivid and detailed, and your descriptions are just perfect. They’re not too wordy but you still paint the picture perfectly. Like when Melanie was showing Tara D’leam’s mark’s in chapter 2, you didn’t actually describe the mark but I could just picture them on her torso. Absolutely love it.

The tone of the story is somewhat somber and somewhat longing on Tara’s part. She obviously wants her Dani back, but at the same time she seems to want to go back to that time when everything was still peachy and there were no social orders in the way. She also sounds wiser. She’s not that spoiled child in the protective bubble anymore where only she mattered, she now sees beyond herself. At least that’s what I took from it. I hope that made some kind of sense.

And I’m very interested to see what has happened to get Tara to where she’s at now, and to see where Dani’s at now.

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:44 am 
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Happy anniversary!

Interesting chapter - I like how Tara describes her childhood, and just how it seems to have progressed. The sense of a 'normal' childhood, in such regal surroundings, doings things like racing around madly, sneaking snacks in the kitchen, Faith up trees - normal, childhood things, but here and there (as when Tara said she never realised people cleaned up after their 'rampages') the hints that they were insulated from the reality of their lives. That flowed back into the larger story of Tara and Dani - looking back, Tara finds herself to have been so insular, even selfish, but in a very real sense she never had the chance to learn another way. It was natural, as a child, to just assume that the way her life worked was the way everyone's life worked. Of course, that made it a hell of a shock when it turned out that the world wasn't what she thought it was.

I really like Tara's anguish at learning Dani's place as her servant - her love for Dani makes it so difficult for her to accept, and I wonder (even though it's early to be guessing what's happened in the 'present') if eventually she somehow frees Dani, because she can't live with her as less than an equal? Whereas apart from allusions Tara makes, we're not getting Dani's point of view - she seemed to adapt to her social station with less fuss than Tara, with a kind of sadness, but also I sensed a resolve in her that, being told she had to be Tara's servant, she decided out of love to be exactly that. I wonder whether either of them really understood what the other was going through.

The moment on horseback, which seemed to be Tara's magic coming to light, was lovely - the way it arose completely unconsciously, and how Tara's first instinct was to quell Dani's fear that she'd be left behind. There's something really special there, not in the magic but in the love between them - maybe that's what'll help them through, in the end, no matter how angsty their relationship becomes as their relative social standings twist up their love and friendship.

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:04 pm 
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I love how the way you’re exploring class boundaries and how these can be both amazingly invisible and glaringly opaque at the same time. You’ve done a superb job in conveying young Tara’s honest confusion about ‘place’ and ‘role’ , yet not so overwhelmingly confused that she insists Dani stop calling her Miss or stop kneeling before speaking! I don’t know whether to be sorry for Tara or furious with her! And Dani’s silent acceptance of her place in the household—no matter how important a five-mark bonded servant may be—is acutely painful. One can just feel the world closing in on Dani while simultaneously Tara’s is opening up. These were two very compelling introductory chapters. A new story from you always gets my attention, but these two chapters have really drawn me in. It’s always such a pleasure to read your work.


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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:58 pm 
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Uzu – First off: where is the last of neeps and tatties? I don’t think I ever know what those are (guess it’s not here then). Thanks for the anniversary wishes. It was quite good.

Thank you very much.
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The account of the carefree naivety of her childhood being slowly but surely encroached by the demands of her inevitable adult station in life is quite sad.
I agree although I think her feeling toward it is mostly carefree. It’s like her mature view is only sliding in along the edges.

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The unraveling parallel of circumstances between these two protagonists is really intriguing me, as is the foreshadowing of what has become of them. I wonder if The Estate of Roses has a part in it as well as those dreaded marks?
I’d say that one of those topics will have a bit more and one will have a lot…

Lol: awful singing. Thanks.

highlandlass25 – Thanks. Ha ha! Computers!!!!

HalfCamel – Hello and thank you. I am very happy with it so far so I’m glad that it’s catching readers’ attention. I like what you say about the marks. I don’t want to be too specific in my visual descriptions because I like to allow the reader to create an image in her own mind (as you did). I’m glad that works for you.

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The tone of the story is somewhat somber and somewhat longing on Tara’s part.
Yes. What you say makes perfect and wonderful sense. I definitely would say that Tara has grown up and doesn’t want to go back to that idyllic childhood
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And I’m very interested to see what has happened to get Tara to where she’s at now, and to see where Dani’s at now.
More on that soon…

Thanks.

Artemis – Hi, Chris. Did I mention how fantastic the story header is? I mean you created it with just the tone of the first post to guide you and I couldn’t like it more if I’d given you the entire story outline. Thank you so much.

Also, to anyone who hasn’t read it, I highly recommend Princess Tara and the Dragon. It’s one of the more blatantly funny stories I’ve read lately and I’m expecting it will get quite sexy.

Thanks for the anniversary wishes.

I agree that Tara is describing a very normal childhood in spite of things like nobility and magic. And the children were definitely insulated from reality in a lot of ways as I think most children are.

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looking back, Tara finds herself to have been so insular, even selfish, but in a very real sense she never had the chance to learn another way.
Oh absolutely. I don’t blame Tara very much. She was a bit clueless and not really capable of understanding that being a Lady and being with someone you love is a little different from being a servant and being with someone you love but she’s not a jerk. She’s not stupid. She’s just a little simple and self-centered as most people are.

I’m glad that Tara’s anguish comes through in this update.
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Whereas apart from allusions Tara makes, we're not getting Dani's point of view –
Very intentional that.

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she seemed to adapt to her social station with less fuss than Tara, with a kind of sadness, but also I sensed a resolve in her that, being told she had to be Tara's servant, she decided out of love to be exactly that.
I think that’s a pretty common phenomenon. I mean don’t you meet privileged people who complain about stupid things every day and then meet less privileged people who are grateful for being able to buy groceries? Dani is gifted (in a way) with lower expectations than Tara so she can adapt more easily and have less angst (or so we assume).
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I wonder whether either of them really understood what the other was going through.
Does any one every understand what anyone else is going through?

I’m glad you liked the horseback interaction. Definitely their love is what drives it but it’s the first manifestation of Tara’s magic which is a natural and powerful thing for her. You might notice that her father noticed it and simply nodded.

Yes, there will be angst as you say regarding the social standings.

More to come.

daiailun – Wow. I feel like I want to quote every line of your feedback. I have to say that as a writer I feel incredibly honored that you were so touched by everything I’ve written here to be able to convey yourself so well. Yes! It’s all about class boundaries and the way they can trap everyone from the most noble to the lowliest servant. Everyone is trapped by them.
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You’ve done a superb job in conveying young Tara’s honest confusion about ‘place’ and ‘role’ , yet not so overwhelmingly confused that she insists Dani stop calling her Miss or stop kneeling before speaking! I don’t know whether to be sorry for Tara or furious with her!
An excellent point. Tara is confused but she’s also committed enough to the way things are that it doesn’t occur to her that anything could be different.
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One can just feel the world closing in on Dani while simultaneously Tara’s is opening up.
Ooo. Can I steal that and use it in describing this story? You’re absolutely right and they’re moving toward a point of those two things happening simultaneously and ultimately if that makes any sense.

Thank you, thank you, thank you and here is another.

Image


Story Title – Waiting for Dani

Chapter – 3 – Learning

Author – JustSkipIt

Pairing – T/W

Feedback – Yes, please

Spoilers – None

Rating – PG

Disclaimer – Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy own Willow and Tara and the Buffyverse. I’m not saying this universe is totally original but I didn’t steal it from any author or creator that I know of. No copyright infringement is meant by this fic and I will not make any money from it.

Distribution – Kitten Board, Through the Looking Glass, Mystic Muse. Everyone else, send me a note.

Note – I don’t like the title very much but I think that I like it better than my alternative title: “My girl’. If you have a suggestion, PM me and maybe I’ll use yours and give you credit.


And so our lessons continued. I met with my tutor six days in every seven-day, with one day off “for good behavior” as we all joked. Donnie’s schedule mirrored mine. I studied Latin, French, Composition, Mathematics, Music, Art, and increasingly Politics. Donnie’s subjects were similar to mine but with less emphasis on music and more on oration. It was entirely possible that the absence of oration was intentional in my subjects as I had somehow developed a stutter. I believe that my father and Melanie decided that it was a temporary situation which would resolve itself all on its own.

I believed, for good or aught, that my voice was hurt by the absence of Dani. Not that Dani had gone anywhere, but I continued to wake in the night and mourn her sleeping so far from me. At times I had nightmares that I had lost her and when I did, I always awoke crying. She must have trained herself to become a very light sleeper because my waking always brought her into the bed to hold and comfort me. I felt selfish but at the same time happy to have her close again.

I have to wonder, sitting here now, will the nightmares be anything like the real experience? How will I sleep tonight?

Where my lessons increased and intensified, Dani’s did so even more quickly. She yearned for knowledge like no one I have ever encountered. She accompanied me to every lesson she could to soak up that learning in addition to increased meetings with D’elam and now D’rs also. Nearly every day one of the two of them came to her and held a lesson with her somewhere in the house. I knew no details on this because it wasn’t the type of thing I was expected to have access to. While it was perfectly acceptable and even encouraged for Dani to accompany me to my lessons whenever possible, it was not considered appropriate for me to accompany her. Initially I had thought that I would have to sneak to allow Dani to continue my education along with me but knowing what would be expected of Dani, Melanie and my father encouraged her education.

Amazingly, in spite of her other lessons and in spite of missing some of mine, Dani exceeded both myself and Donnie at learning the material we had to cover. She could memorize a speech, spelling, or translation the first time she heard it and her ability to comprehend mathematics was truly spectacular. I would be sitting at a desk, doodling with my pencil while the tutor laid out a sum regarding the amount of seed required to plant a field, the expected yield depending on weather, and cost per gram of seed. Dani, would be doing other chores as he spoke and when he finally asked the cost for planting the estate’s fields as well as the expected yield, she would have the answer. She wouldn’t be so impertinent as to give that answer quicker than I or Donnie but I could always tell that she had already figured it before I could even set my pencil to the slate. Somehow in spite of our enforced distance, or perhaps because of it, we seemed to have even greater communication powers. I could often feel what Dani was feeling or thinking simply by looking at her and while she would not admit it, it was obvious that she had the same ability.

If she missed a lesson, she would absolutely insist that I report every thing that the tutor had said. She, of course, couldn’t force me to do anything but she would pout and ask specific questions until I might just as well repeat everything I had heard that day. If she could corral Donnie, she made him give a report just as well, even if she had already heard the report from me and in case I had missed anything.

I will say this: having to repeat a lesson for someone turned out to be the best way for me to learn as well as helping my stutter. The tutor and his successor and his eventual successor gave father nothing but glowing reports of both my and Donnie’s progress. I wonder what he would have said if he had been asked to give a report on Dani. I chuckle just thinking about it.

Anne and Faith began their studies a few years after Dani and me. I remember some discussion among the adults that perhaps Dani should be sent to the younger girls’ lessons, as if Dani could not keep up with me. I remain convinced that even studying full-time with Donnie would not have been enough of a challenge for my brilliant girl.

The only failing Dani had was singing. Her voice was terrible. Awful. We all joked that when Dani started singing it was time to put the dogs out so that didn’t have to contend with their howling along with hers. She took the teasing in stride and continued whistling as she accomplished her duties.

My father was an ardent believer in time outside for everyone. He required that everyone, from the lowest kitchen drudge to himself, spend some time out of doors having some exercise time every day. We children, often joined by countless visiting cousins from the neighboring estates, would complete our lessons and run screeching from the manor. If led by Faith, the afternoon would result in dares and eventual exhaustion. By Donnie, we all set out for a ride and usually returned with wild game for the kitchens. Anne was likely to organize the group into a game or dance of some sort. Myself, I found joy in riding.

No one questioned Dani and me riding together. It was well known that she would be mark-bound to me and seemed reasonable that we would ride together when we could. I loved nothing in the world better than the feeling of her small body against mine as we rode. I could feel our heartbeats and more often than not, they were perfectly synchronized.

I didn’t think anything of it then—my need to possess her. I just knew that I needed to be close to her. As close as possible as much as possible. Her feelings about it? That wasn’t something we were prepared or inclined to discuss. I can honestly admit, and I’m not proud of this, that I never considered what she wanted. I just thought it was what was so. That we should be together, that we would be together.

At times I even felt jealous of her. It was ridiculous. She was to be bound to me. There was nothing Faith could do about that but a part of me just felt so… One thing that they shared was a love for climbing trees. Anytime we couldn’t find the pair of them, you could be sure they were up a tree somewhere. Of course Dani never stayed hidden long if she sensed I was looking for her but if Donnie or Anne needed her, they might as well lie down and cry as look for those scoundrels. Some times I worked to mask my need for her and helped the other two search. And at those times, it was truly amazing how long it would take to find them. More often than not, we would give up and walk back into the manor to find them eating an apple in the kitchen with innocent looks on their faces. Then Donnie would chase Faith through the house screaming that he would find her one day until D’elam or D’rs kicked us all out again.

One day the two of them were off climbing trees and Donnie was, as usual searching for them with a very surly manner. I had extra lessons that day and was studying under a tree when I heard a scream. I stood and ran as quickly as I could, my heart pounding until I found them near one of the largest of the oak trees. Dani sat on the ground, clutching her ankle with tears streaming down her face. Faith and Donnie quickly picked her up and carried inside as I ran ahead calling for the healer. The healer came and thanks to The Creator, Dani’s ankle was just sprained, not broken. She was in bed for two days with D’rs tending to her through her argument that she needed to get up and help me. D’rs wanted Dani to stay with her but I insisted that she be in my rooms, finally being so bold as to demand it as my right as future Lady of the estate.

Near the end of the second day, there was a light knock on my door and I rushed to open it. Dani was asleep, finally after having stood up too soon and been in quite a large amount of pain. I opened the door to see a sheepish looking Faith standing there with her heavy coat wrapped around her. Given that I blamed Faith for hurting Dani, I was not inclined to allow her in but Dani called from the bed, “Who is it? Should I get up?”

I didn’t want her to get up and called that it was just Faith. I leaned forward and whispered to Faith that if she hurt Dani again she would pay. She just smiled as she breezed around me.

“Hey, Red.”

“Hi, Faith. Do you need anything?” Even bedridden, Dani wanted to take care of whatever Faith needed.

Faith shook her head with a smirk on her face and then opened her jacket revealing a small black puppy. Dani screamed in joy as Faith set it on the bed where it very promptly relieved itself. Dani didn’t care, hugging the puppy and then Faith. Of course a moment later she saw the stain and hobbled about the room to clean it up. Faith quickly grabbed the bowl and rag from her and pushed her back onto the bed. “For Creator’s sake, Dani. Sit and hug your puppy and let me do this.”

“Mine? Really?” I don’t know when I’d ever seen Dani so excited. I mean we were happy together so much of the time but this was… I felt jealous, left out. How did Faith know that Dani wanted a puppy? Where did she get it? Did Dani love her better? She held the puppy up. “Miss Tara. Look. Faith gave me a puppy. I can keep her right? Can I keep her? Please?” She slid from the bed and hopped over to me, still holding the puppy and kneeled at my feet. Faith shot me a look as I stood there stupefied. It occurred to me that she had never done this in front of anyone before and I thought that D’elam was supposed to disabuse her of the idea that it was necessary. I felt simultaneously embarrassed and proud that my girl was demonstrating how devoted she was to me in front of someone else.

Before I could speak, Faith came over and grabbed me by my forearms. “Just a minute, Dani,” she said. She knew that she couldn’t release my servant from her position but she could try to give her some comfort. My sister half-dragged me across the room. Once there she whispered to me. “Miss Tara Maclay. If you say no to her, you will break her heart.” She glanced at the redhead still kneeling and petting the puppy. “And if you hurt her Anne and I and Donnie won’t speak to you for twelve moons.” She squeezed my forearms hard. “You understand that?”

I pulled my arms away from her angrily and went over to Dani. I kneeled down in front of her and ran my fingertip along her jawline. “Of course you can keep her.” I leaned closer and whispered. “I want to always give you what you want, my baby.”

She leaned forward and hugged me thanking me before realizing that her faux pas. Then she pulled away and hobbled over to thank Faith for the puppy. Faith gave her a hug and then said that Dani should get back into bed and she needed to be going. As she left she called out to me to remember what we had talked about it.

It seemed that my Dani had found a champion.

Not that she needed it much. I was sincere in my wish to make my girl happy. I was forever telling her stories, bringing her treats from the kitchen, giving her flowers or writing songs for her. I felt there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her.

Not long after Faith gave Dani the puppy—Zhorro she had named her—Melanie informed us that it was time to start our magical lessons. Donnie was excused because his role in passing on the heritage was pretty much impossible to study for. In fact, it seemed that my father suddenly started taking Donnie for long walks in the woods. I assumed they were discussing something only Donnie needed to know, which of course, turned out to be true.

Melanie had waited until the twins had eight summers, feeling that before that was too early and not wanting to instruct me separately. Even though I would be only active magic user, it was still important for Faith and Anne to understand how to teach magic to their daughters, just as Melanie had learned from her mother although only my mother could perform magic.

When I asked if Dani could come, Melanie took it under advisement. She called me to her rooms the day before our lessons were to start. She told me that she and my father had decided that Dani would be allowed to attend the lessons. They felt that with Dani’s memory – so they were aware of her mind – she could help me if I needed assistance in remembering what I had been taught. Faith and Anne had recently acquired the girls who would eventually become their mark-bonded servants and the girls were in training with D’elam but they were not to be invited to the lessons. I saw that as another proof of how special my Dani was.

So, my tenth summer I began my magical training with my aunt. We met every other day but skipped the rest-day. Our lessons usually took place in the clearing behind the manor which made Faith and Dani deliriously happy. Faith had said many times that even the most boring subject was palatable when she could hear the birds singing. Melanie teased her that she didn’t know if she was raising a gentlewoman or a gamekeeper and Faith teased back that she knew which she would choose. Anne, on the other hand, had no doubt which she wanted to be. She was simply the most gentle, future gentlewoman I have ever seen. She would rather sit and do handiwork than play or ride and certainly anything getting dirty.

The magical lessons were, in a word, exhausting. They surpassed any subject I had encountered in my five years of serious study. There was no studying for them. I was to learn, to absorb the material and then enact it. Melanie could not demonstrate the magic for me although once a week or more T’solde traveled over to help in my instruction. T’solde, of course, could perform magic and it gave me a great appreciation in the difference I could feel when they cast a spell. From Melanie, I felt a sort of frustrated energy emitting from her but from T’solde, it was as if someone had opened a flood-gate. Each time I experienced her casting, I felt that her power was rushing through me. I asked Faith once if she felt that and Faith just shook her head. Apparently it was something you required my magic for. When we started, I could not do such a simple spell as lifting a feather.

But I worked hard. Over and over T’solde and Melanie drilled into me that these studies were as important to me as my others put together. By the time I had thirteen summers, I could float feathers and much more. Twice that year, I lifted Hope and Dream and held them for 6 heartbeats. I brought rain to the valley below our house once and had started being able to light candles and fires with no verbal incantation. The others were learning right along with me and were expected to attempt each spell regardless of the certain knowledge that they would never produce a single bit of magic. I felt sorry for my sisters that luck of birth order ensured my superiority but that feeling never lasted long when I looked at Dani. The thought of Faith or the very droll Anne with Dani was just … no.

One day a few years into my magical training Dani had to miss our lessons because she was studying with D’rs. One of my father’s brother’s wife’s brother was being married and we would all be traveling to the wedding. I would be expected to perform only a small spell with T’solde’s help. But all the servants were eagerly preparing for our journey to begin just two days hence.

I was exhausted at the end of the lesson and waved off Faith’s encouragement to take a long ride with her. Rather, I decided to go back to my rooms for a rest. I knew that Dani would wake me just in time for dinner. I opened the door very quietly because I was so tired and let myself into my outer chamber where I slipped off my shoes. I stepped into the bedroom and stopped dead-still in the doorway.

We had been attending our magical lessons for a little over three years at this point. But … What I was seeing couldn’t possibly be true.

Yet it was.

Dani sat on her mat on the floor. In front of her, floating in the air were: the dog’s ball, two barrettes, a hair brush, a pencil, a candle (which kept lighting and unlighting itself), and my pillow. She was humming softly to herself a melody which was obviously keeping the items afloat. I stood there with my mouth dropping more and more open. She was doing it over and over. Without putting anything down she stood up and began to turn in a circle. On her first turn, her eyes were down on the floor so she did an entire turn and a half before she saw me standing in the doorway.

Immediately everything fell to the floor including Dani who dropped to her knees.

“Dani?” She didn’t answer so I repeated her name. After a few seconds, I crossed the floor and tapped her lightly on her shaking shoulder. Realizing that she wasn’t going to just jump up and talk to me I dropped onto the floor, sitting cross-legged in front of her. “Dani.” I touched her chin and she looked at me. “I’m not upset with you.” She let out the breath she was holding. “H-h-how long have you …” I waved my hands at all the things scattered around the floor.

“I didn’t mean it,” she protested.

“Dani. It’s ok.” I took her hands before she could jump up. “I just don’t understand. I mean… You’re doing magic.”

“Please don’t tell anyone,” she pleaded.

“I’m not going to tell.” I leaned forward and kissed her cheek. I’m not sure what possessed me to do it but I wanted to reassure her and it was the first thought that came into my head. She smiled at me and I had to concentrate to keep from feeling like I was going to fall over. “You know this shouldn’t be possible right?”

She nodded.

“Do you know what this means?” When she didn’t answer I summed up what we knew about magic. “Dani, your mother and father were both from magic families. They’re probably noble.” I felt completely excited at the discovery but Dani was very pragmatic.

“Miss Tara. My mother is a mark-bonded servant of this house. I am a servant of this house. We are not noble.” Her tone brooked no disagreement from me.

I shook my head still trying to comprehend what I had seen. “How long have you been able to …”

She blushed. Actually blushed. I had never seen it before and it was adorable enough that I thought I would lose my train of thought about the magic. “From your first lesson, Miss Tara.”

“But… in the lesssons. You don’t perform magic.”

“I-I-I know. I um stop it? So you all won’t see?” I continued looking at her and she continued. We had moved to sit on the edge of my bed by now and she had replaced the pillow and was absently straightening the bed covers. “I didn’t know but then when you learned that feather floating? I did the incantation and it started to rise. So I reversed the incantation. You know, so it wouldn’t?”

I had never tried to not do magic. “How-how did you know to reverse it?”

Dani pursed her lips. “I-I don’t know. I just did.”

I nodded. “Did you speak to D’Shel?”

Dani looked away and I had to touch her chin with my fingertips. “D’Shel said that I was being absurd and to forget all about it.” She smiled at me. “But she was smiling when I told her.”

For a short time we just sat there smiling at each other. I had known that Dani was special. One of a kind. My perfect compliment. I leaned forward whispering in her ear. “You are perfect. Do you know that?”

Dani looked at me for a moment. Then she cast her eyes down shyly and whispered back. “No, Miss Tara, you are perfect.”

I felt as if someone had lit a thousand candles in my heart. I convinced her to nap with me in the bed and although she seemed tense at first, she quickly dropped to sleep in my arms. The room had grown darker when she woke me and told me that we needed to go to dinner.

Dani helped me dress and set my hair. Before we left the room, I took her hands in mine—so perfectly did they fit. “This will be our secret?”

“Yes, Miss Tara. If you please?”

And it was our secret. Something to keep between ourselves. Our magical education continued in the same fashion with the two of us taking instruction with Faith and Anne from Melanie and T’solde. My power and precision grew with each lesson as did Dani’s—a fact only the two of us knew.

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:02 pm 
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DIBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBSSSSSSSSS!

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:04 am 
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magic involved now
Cool!
Love how Tara is growing her feelings for Dani, though she's still too young to know what's that emotion really is.
Dani is quite a box of surprises. And we kniw she's already bonded by deep affection to Tara but being a servant and such, we don't know for sure her true feelings. Shame.
Anyway. Great chap. Keep it up!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:41 am 
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I'm the third to post! yay! *dances* That was awesome.... they're getting closer, kind of, but it's just so painfully obvious now the things that Tara's misinterpreting and messing up though she can't see it at the time. Poor Dani... poor Tara.... happy fluffiness in there too though :P


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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am 
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What an interesting development. I kind of feel bad for Tara being jealous and possessive without even realizing why. But poor Dani. There are so many things that she realizes about their positions that Tara just doesn't get yet. It must be heart-breaking for her. I really liked this update. More please!


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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:29 am 
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I think Dani gets more lessons about being subservant than Tara, so it's little wonder she understands it better. Tara's jealousy is good for one thing though, not taking Dani for granted.

I'll have to re-read part1 again to determine Dani's possible sources for magic. What do we know about Dani's father anyway, not much it seems? Dani seems to be a fairly outdoorsy girl, climbing up trees and such.. that's quite new :)

I like how Tara refers to Dani as 'my girl' several times when thinking back. With the marked-servant stuff it remains difficult to keep possive and loving use of 'my' apart though.

Tara seems to take Dani's reply "No, Miss Tara, you are perfect." as Dani truly telling Tara she as a person is perfect, the loving way to so to speak. Again that is hard to determine since it could very well be a learned response. I think a servant/mistress relation blocks a proper loving-relation at the same time. The two releations don't work well together (non-equal vs. equal relationship?)... that's how it feels anyway.

Dani wanting to clean and perform her duties even when injured was sort of cute. Also slightly worrying in that there are times you need to let the body heal. Learning one's limitation and all that. Tara being jeaulous of the puppy was fun :kdevil

Ah..so several people in Dani's familly (does she even know her remaining familly up North?) must have been magic-capable, not nessecarely practicioners. Having re-read the first chapter it makes more sense now. The title confused me into thinking 'my new girl' was Dani;-), maybe 'hoping for Dani' would be better? ;-) The thought that people consider marked-servants practicing magic as a ridiculous idea is worrying.

The thought of Dani and Tara sharing the same crib is cute and lovely :blush

grimmy

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:43 am 
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:party and what an update!!!

firstly can I say that waiting for updates of this wonderful tale is torture! please, please don't shift to posting every two weeks as it would kill me, really, it would.

Loved this update - always knew Dani was special ;-) but giving her the ability to perform spells proves there must be sooo much more to her than her position suggests.

And Faith was great, being a true friend to Dani and getting her a puppy to care for was very nice of her. Although taking Tara aside to threaten?? her makes me wonder how differently Dani is treated by other people, does Tara see her, Dani's, station more than the other children? Will this cause a line to be drawn that they try not to cross? (we all know they will tho' cause :wtkiss are well worth it)

As always I can't wait for more :bow


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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:04 am 
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ok, first of all, feedbacking is not a chore.....i like to leave feedback. i think that writers (especially as talented as you) deserve to know what i think.....cause you're giving me something, and i want to give something back in return. also to tell you how much i appreciate the gift. so, it's not a chore.

now, onto the feedback:

Chapter 2 - Lessons

of course, it was beautiful. i have to say, i'm loving this story. the fantasy quality of it keeps shining through. it was sad to see them understand the difference between them.....between their position. but it's still sweet how Dani comforts Tara, when she cries. actually, it's even sweeter.
it's rather suggestive the image of the marks on the servant's hip......must be very cool. i wish we could have a pic....

Chapter 3 - Learning

Dani can do magic!!! this is quite the surprise! i can imagine her, humming to herself.....this really makes me wonder about her parents. maybe she was adopted? it's just not possible.
i also loved how you remarked her intelligence.....Dani is a brainy type, uh? just like the Willow we all know and love.
it's so cute and tender how they decide that it's "their" secret. it's just another affirmation of their connaction. one thing i noticed - this:

Quote:
The healer came and thanks to The Creator


The Creator....God, right? will you talk more about their religion? sounds likely (from how you set the story) that the religion will be also different - i'd be curious to know more about it.

to conclude, i just adore this story. you're one of my favourite writers :x and when i saw that you had began a new fic i was thrilled....and with good reason. this fic is amazing and i'm so happy to see you writing it.

thanks for sharing debra :x

PS: you can call me Vale if you want....Thianne sounds so formal *shrug*

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:49 am 
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Hi Debra. I've been meaning to leave you feedback since you first posted this, but I've had a hard time these past few days making myself do anything other than sit here thinking about leaving feedback. :lol

I really, really like this story. I think the whole premise is utterly unique and (of course) the story itself is well written. ( I doubt I'd expect anything else coming from you ;-) ) Anyway, it's awesome and I can't wait for chapter 3.

:peace
Emms

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:38 pm 
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Great to see another chapter up! This has rapidly become a story I really look forward to. I swear if it was a book, it would have already been devoured by my voracious reading appetite by now. You've definately got a crackin non-stop page turner here.

I love the interaction between Faith and Dani. It seems she's filling the role as protective best friend that Buffy played in the series. The fact Faith's got a tomboy streak a mile wide doesn't surprise me, although it did take me awhile to wrap my head around Anne being so proper and girly. I was still thinking of her in Sunnydale Buffy terms until I remembered that LA Buffy was very much the Valley Girl princess before her calling as the Slayer and then it all clicked into place. With that in mind, I can't help wondering if the two sisters will end up having to fufill certain unlady-like duties just like a Slayer. It would be a twist to learn sweet little Anne is as deadly an adversary as brash little Faith.

Quote:
The only failing Dani had was singing. Her voice was terrible. Awful. We all joked that when Dani started singing it was time to put the dogs out so that didn’t have to contend with their howling along with hers.


LOL! Willow's wonky vocal talents strikes again! :lol

I see magic has reared it's head concerning the girls. I guess that's really going to complicate things since servants doing magic is a major big no-no. Could this be the reason why Shelia ran away from the Estate of Roses? Hmmm. Well, this has certainly given me cause for speculations galore! :hmm

As always, look forward to more!

Oh! And lastly-

Quote:
First off: where is the last of neeps and tatties? I don’t think I ever know what those are (guess it’s not here then).


Aw, that's just my round about way of saying I come from Scotland cuz 'neeps' and 'tatties' are Scots slang for turnips and potatoes. Usually accompanied with mince or haggis or both if you're really hungry!

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:22 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Man. Two new chapters. Feedback to both boils down to this:

I feel so disturbed by the power imbalance in that relationship. I want them to be together (when they are much, much older, of course), but Tara doesn't fully understand the imbalance yet. I get the love, it is pure and lovely, but I worry. Discontent blossoms when void of choice.


And to Tara:

...of course Dani can do magic! She's been magic right from the beginning. Plus she is brilliant and wonderful and beautiful and smart. She will cause the moon to rise and the sun to set for you Tara (so listen to Faith and don't hurt her, k)?

I am so looking forward to this story's evolving!

db

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:59 pm 
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Debra:

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: you've created something really very lovely here. I love the story with Willow and Tara, but honestly I can see it working with any two characters. What I mean is, from what I've read, I think you could change the names of the characters, and have a very publishable story. For what that's worth.

Also, I absolutely *love* Faith in this story, and her relationship with Dani. Also, like others who've left feedback, the power balance between the two of them is tremendously unsettling, but I'm sure that's your whole point. I'm very much looking forward to reading how you'll resolve that.

The only thing I don't like is waiting a whole week for each chapter. Each Tuesday you post a new chapter, I try to be patient and take it in slowly, but then I end up wolfing it down like a starving Rottweiler. I generally tend to do that when I'm reading books, too. When I get into a good book, I read it all in a day or two, and don't get much sleep. That's why I try to start a new book on a Friday. Anyway, I am totally digressing. My point is, your story is so wonderful, waiting for each new chapter is killin' me!
I s'pose I'll live. :read

-bk


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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:22 am 
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omg omg omg :bounce awesome! just awesome! a perfect way to continue this wonderful story!! :x i really loved how about halfway through this update your tone became a lot more light and less with the foreboding :laugh but alas, i just know something's gonna go really really bad really really soon.. :spin

but it's okay :D coz i have faith in your ability to completely unravel the lives of our two heroines before neatly folding them back into place again!

please continue oh fairytale-type word-origami author :bow

-B

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:22 pm 
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SallyMcFine
Quote:
DIBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBSSSSSSSSS!
Gee. Somehow that seems kind of anticlimactic.

viximon – Hello. Yes, to magic. It’s not like they’re going to be battling vampires and demons but there is definitely magic in this universe and it’s important for how they run the estates as well as politically.
Quote:
Love how Tara is growing her feelings for Dani, though she's still too young to know what's that emotion really is.
Great point. Tara has no earthly idea what she feels for Dani. She feels a very deep committed bond to her but she doesn’t really understand nor question it.

Quote:
Dani is quite a box of surprises. And we kniw she's already bonded by deep affection to Tara but being a servant and such, we don't know for sure her true feelings. Shame.
Good point and I hope that will remain a question…

Thanks.

Miss. Darkmoon – Hello and welcome. It’s so nice to see someone being so excited on third dibs. Maybe you’ll slowly move up from 3rd to 2nd to first… It’s a dream huh?

Quote:
they're getting closer, kind of, but it's just so painfully obvious now the things that Tara's misinterpreting and messing up though she can't see it at the time.
Yeah. She had no idea at all what anything means.

I agree with the Poor… parts. Thanks.

highlandlass25 – Oh yes. Dani doing magic is quite interesting as it fits into the entire political and social landscape of the universe.
Quote:
I kind of feel bad for Tara being jealous and possessive without even realizing why.
I think you’re the third reader so far to point out that Tara feels very strongly but she doesn’t know why. I totally agree. She feels this incredibly strong and deep bond with Dani but she doesn’t really recognize it as anything but what just absolutely has to be.

I agree that Dani understands everything including their relationship and their positions much better than Tara. I think that Tara believes everything will be ok as long as they’re together and Dani probably thinks things will never be ok as long as they’re together like this. Or something like that…

Thanks.

grimlock72 – Hello again.
Quote:
I think Dani gets more lessons about being subservant than Tara, so it's little wonder she understands it better.
I agree but I would say that it’s not just lessons about subservience. She’s learning basically everything she “needs to know” about being a servant to a five-mark Lady. To do that well (as she will) she has to know enough to be a lively companion for Tara, a sort of business partner, a liaison with servants, and a planner. In a way, Dani must accomplish every learning that Tara needs and more to do her job.

Quote:
I'll have to re-read part1 again to determine Dani's possible sources for magic. What do we know about Dani's father anyway, not much it seems?
Nothing. We know that D’Shel showed up pregnant and lactating and asked for protection and a position and was granted that.

Quote:
I like how Tara refers to Dani as 'my girl' several times when thinking back. With the marked-servant stuff it remains difficult to keep possive and loving use of 'my' apart though.
I’m interested that you like it. I find it somewhat troubling personally in that she is thinking it in a loving way but it’s also an indicator of her eventual ownership of Dani. She means “my girl” in that “I love her so much way” but she also refers to the “new girl,” Dani’s replacement as “my girl” and she basically means “my servant.” So I think that you could take it as good or bad. I do see that you see the conflict inherent in the use of the term.

Quote:
I think a servant/mistress relation blocks a proper loving-relation at the same time. The two releations don't work well together (non-equal vs. equal relationship?)... that's how it feels anyway.
It’s possible that you’ve just perfectly summed up the central conflict of this story. More on this… I promise that.

Quote:
maybe 'hoping for Dani' would be better?
Hmmm. I think it’s a good suggestion but I don’t know that it captures the “activity” of waiting if activity is a good descriptor for such a still activity. Does that make sense? Like Tara is Waiting and waiting is all she is doing. She could be hoping but she could be hoping while she rides her horse or plays the piano or stands on her head. So I want her action verb to indicate that she is wholly involved in the activity. Still, I appreciate the suggestion and writing this response has forced me to really evaluate the title. Thanks.

bluebird – Thanks so much.

Quote:
firstly can I say that waiting for updates of this wonderful tale is torture! please, please don't shift to posting every two weeks as it would kill me, really, it would.
I appreciate that. At the same time, I am writing very quickly now but I know from past experience that at some point, I will slow down. Right now I have 4-5 updates written. I like to have 2 on hand in order to post so if my supply dwindles, the reader won’t be left with weekly updates an then nothing for weeks as I catch up. But as I said, I’m very inspired to write so if this pace continues, you will have your weekly updates…

Quote:
Loved this update - always knew Dani was special wink but giving her the ability to perform spells proves there must be sooo much more to her than her position suggests.
I think that is a given although I will not promise any light will be shed on the subject.

Quote:
And Faith was great, being a true friend to Dani and getting her a puppy to care for was very nice of her.
I think that anyone who has read much of my writing will know what I think of Faiith. To sum up: she rocks (see School Days and Survivor: Ash Island). I don’t mind her threatening Tara. After all, that’s what kids do and she was trying to protect Dani who she also loves very much.

Quote:
Will this cause a line to be drawn that they try not to cross?
An excellent question…

Thanks.

Vale – Thank you and thanks for your thoughts on feedbacking. We had a thread on the board that is probably buried near the 5th page or something on the Art of leaving Feedback. I love getting feedback not only because it’s an ego stroke (most of the time) but because it’s very helpful to me in knowing how my story and my writing is being received. At times, I will realize that I was too harsh or too lenient on a character if everyone posting says the same thing. It’s a great reality check and invaluable. Plus, fun!

I’m glad you liked Chapter 2. It was a hard one to write—trying to find a balance between the carefree ways of their gifted childhood and the creeping realization that something is different between them. I also like that Dani comforts Tara and am glad that came through.

Quote:
it's rather suggestive the image of the marks on the servant's hip......must be very cool. i wish we could have a pic....
I absolutely wish that! If I could get it from my head onto “paper” or a jpeg or something, I would post it immediately.

Chapter 3 – definitely a surprise that Dani can do magic.
Quote:
this really makes me wonder about her parents. maybe she was adopted?
Nope. D’Shel is her mother—remember that D’Shel was pregnant with her when she arrived at the estate so we know she is Dani’s natural mother. Dani is definitely the brainy type like our Willow. It’s an interesting challenge in writing a universe which is so different from the one we know to attempt to insert the little connections to our W/T.

Quote:
one thing i noticed - this:

Quote:
The healer came and thanks to The Creator


The Creator....God, right? will you talk more about their religion? sounds likely (from how you set the story) that the religion will be also different - i'd be curious to know more about it.
A very good question. I will not discuss their religion like a speech about religion or Tara giving a discussion or lecture on it but it will be very important. It will be something which pervades their everyday life and their understanding of magic. Make sense?

Thanks so much for your comments!

Emms – Hey and welcome. I get what you’re saying about thinking about feedbacking. Sometimes I take a few days to really digest an update before I’m ready to write any feedback. Thanks so much and I appreciate that you like it’s uniqueness. Like I’ve said before, the Muse put it in my head and I feel compelled to continue the writing. Thanks.

Uzu – Hello again. I’m glad that you’re enjoying the story so well.

Quote:
I love the interaction between Faith and Dani. It seems she's filling the role as protective best friend that Buffy played in the series.
Thank you. I have to admit that I’m not as big a fan of Buffy as I probably should be and I generally use Faith in her place in most stories. I just generally want someone who is more worldly, more direct, more with it than Buffy. And for me, Faith does that.

You have an interesting theory re: Faith & Anne’s futures.

Quote:
LOL! Willow's wonky vocal talents strikes again! Laughing Out Loud
Just one more thing that I relate to Willow on…

Your speculation regarding Sheila’s fleeing the Estate is well placed.
Quote:
. Well, this has certainly given me cause for speculations galore! Hmm
Speculate away!

Thanks.

Oh: Scottland. I didn’t know either of those terms (although I’m sure I could have asked Watty and she would have known—a bit more worldly than I that one). Thanks for the answer.

db
Quote:
I feel so disturbed by the power imbalance in that relationship.
With good reason.

Quote:
Discontent blossoms when void of choice.
Well said.

Nice admonition to Tara. I’m sure that she believes she is working to never hurt Dani.

Thank you.

badkitty – Thanks for the fantastic compliment regarding this story and it’s applicability as a non W/T story. I haven’t really considered that but it’s really fantastic to hear that you feel that way.

I’m glad that you love Faith here. She’s of course one of my favorites and I can promise that you will see much more of her.
Quote:
Also, like others who've left feedback, the power balance between the two of them is tremendously unsettling, but I'm sure that's your whole point.
I’m not sure I’d say it’s my whole point but it’s near the top of the list.

Reading habits! Tee hee. Glad to hear that it captures you like that.

Thanks.

Belli Bear – Hello to you and your cute avatar once again. Interesting that you note the tone. I agree that it became more light part of the way through. It’s actually a little difficult to remember to put the foreboding tone into it when Tara is so happily remembering her childhood. At the same time, we have to remember that she is telling this entire story from her miserable perch by the window, alone, in the dark. That is definitely going to creep into the narrative as we go along.
Quote:
i just know something's gonna go really really bad really really soon..
We’ll see. I’m not sure what you would consider “really really bad”…

Word-origami. I love it. Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:56 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Well, of course, Dani had to have unique magical powers, not to mention intellectual ability. Given her mysterious beginnings and any hope for a happy ever after for her and Tara ...... but ..... I am still really anxious for the pair of them.

I (sorta) know you'll give them their happy ending, but your story has me so worried! How about you give my stress levels a break and write a nice happy, romantic interlude???? ;-) They're almost old enough for it now.

Great story. Looking forward to more.
thanks
Anne


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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:47 am 
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Debra wrote:
Nope. D’Shel is her mother—remember that D’Shel was pregnant with her when she arrived at the estate so we know she is Dani’s natural mother.


eh, idiot me. i forgot about that

and i actually read "the art of leaving feedback" thread. all that's written in it makes perfect sense to me

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:12 am 
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Well, if you weren't so durn quick with the replies, Deb...just kidding, I hate it when I call dibs and then don't edit the durn post. Like I'd rather not call dibs at all.

Okay, so back to the update. I had a feeling that Dani was going to be able to perform magic. That's a good thing because it puts them on more of an equal footing. It also seems that she's better than Tara at it. I also liked it that Tara didn't have a jealous reaction about it - she was just thrilled and was the one who suggested they keep it a secret between themselves.

The flip side is that Willow's entire life has been about preparing for subservience, so that's something that will be hard to overcome. I say overcome because I don't think that they'll be able to have a very equal relationship with that imbalance. But on the other hand, it's good that she is from a noble family because even though she's a mark-bound servant, that means they can actually end up together, after much trouble and trials, I'm sure.

The other thing is, I was a little mystified about Faith's seeming thought that Tara would possibly tell Dani she couldn't keep the puppy. I know we haven't seen most of their life together but I didn't get any sense that Tara had ever denied Dani anything. Faith seems like a smart cookie, though, and she probably forsees problems ahead that Tara doesn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Waiting for Dani
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:46 pm 
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SallyMcFine wrote:
But on the other hand, it's good that she is from a noble family because even though she's a mark-bound servant, that means they can actually end up together


Errm... she ain't mark-bound YET is she? Or is Dani mark-bound from birth?? Does the to-be-bound one have to activly consent to such a binding/bounding (even though being mark-bound to such high nobilty as the MaClay familly will likely be seen as an honour) ? I wonder about that, 'cos it is an excellent time to run away .. Makes me almost view becoming a mark-bound servant as a very one-sided marriage. .

What does Tara need a mark-bound servant for anyway? If nature runs it's course Dani will gladly do most reasonable things Tara ask of her. She won't have any 'status' then though... this society seems rather fond of status and class.

Next couple of years will be interesting, when Dani is unlikely to just accept the system as-is just because it IS. Besides, if Dani is as inquisitive as the Willow we know and love she'll probably dig up some of her family background

About 'waiting' vs. 'hoping' .. I didn't get the impression from the first chapter that Tara is really waiting for Dani. It reads like she has accepted that Dani has gone away (unknown how, if she is even alive for that matter) and is waiting for her replacement, as servant anyway... but that could be me reading chapter-1 all wrong??

grimmy

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