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

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 Post subject: Re: FIC - Left Of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 3:13 am 
Believe me when I say my jaw dropped at the part where Anya said she was pregnet. I want to know Xander's reaction! That I can't wait for. :grin



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

Oh I could just see a Brisith Slayer! *bad English accent* Excuse me mister vampire, could you quite possibly reafrain from killing whilst I take my tea break?- Buffy in Lisa's Reward and Reprisal



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 Post subject: Re: FIC - Left Of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 6:36 am 
Anya pregant well what untill Xander finds out oh boy that will be something Great update.

Tara: Assume Crash
Positions



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 Post subject: Re: FIC - Left Of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 8:04 am 
I am very sorry to hear about your uncle. I also send along a big hug...



This was a very good update. I loved it.



-Aimee

*****
"Hey Will, this is me. It doesn't all have to be good and fine. This is the room where you don't have to be brave. I still love you. If you're worried, you can be worried." -Tara to Willow in ep. 603 Afterlife



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 Post subject: Re: FIC - Left Of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 10:00 am 
great update :) can't wait to for Xander's reaction to Anya being pregnant. wonder who she is going to visit???



sending a big hug your way, sorry to hear about your uncle

Awww, Grasshopper, you're so screwed.

If there are any questions, you may direct them to that brick wall over there.



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 Post subject: Left of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 11:25 am 
Oh, Jomarch.

I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles. I'm sending you a really nice hug. Maybe everyone could come to the cottage for a hug-a-thon and potluck. I don't know what to say. I'm not good at this sort of thing. Just want to send you my support.

I loved the update, of course.



Drakkenfyre... If you think about jefferson starship and yoga at the same time, how does that make you feel?



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 Post subject: Re: Left of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 11:58 am 
Jomarch: Great chapter, I really like that you made Anya pregnant we all weren't expecting that. I can't wait to read more.



Lonewolf



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 Post subject: Re: Left of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 12:10 pm 
Jomarch, honey, I am so sorry. I'm sending you big hugs, as well as the requisite panties for the update. * woosh* Oops! I guess my aim is off a bit, since I'm not used to sending them to Singapore again. I hope you're Admin Assist doesn't look at her computer before you can dash over and get those panties. I hope you're able to sleep and take care of yourself.

Life is full of changes...The better you are at letting go of things, the freer your hands will be to catch something new. ~from Off The Map by Joan Ackerman
"It's good to be a chicken casserole," Tara murmured before passing out. ~from "Answering Darkness" by Sassette



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 Post subject: Re: Left of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 12:19 pm 
Add mine to the hugs and good thoughts going your way. I can truely understand as I lost my mother recently.



Great update:) Oh my gosh can you imagine a little Xander or Anya running around the shop. OH and the look on Xanders face when she tells him is gonna be priceless:cool



"The Bible contains
six admonishments of Homosexuals and 362 of Heterosexuals, That doesn't mean God doesn't love Hetrosexuals, just that they need more supervsion."


Lynn Laver



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 Post subject: Left of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:56 pm 
Jomarch, Hi sweetie, I send you my love and prayers. Oh, I am also packing off one very cute bagpiper to you. *yes, Ed, you get to go on a little trip.* Ed is very excited!!! She will take good care of you and play you loving melodies on her bagppipes.



Anya's pregnant!!! Oh dear lord!! I...I...*swoon, thud*



Owl- Jefferson starship and yoga together? I can't even think about it, not after sending off my beautiful Ed to Jomarch...

"We few, we happy few."
"We band of buggered."



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 Post subject: Re: Left of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 3:08 pm 
Hey Jomarch.....great update. Was totally not expecting Anya to be knocked up..LOL Anyway, I am sorry to hear of your troubles, my thoughts are with you. Take care of yourself and when you are ready..we kittens will be right here waiting.



______________:hat WOLFLORD :hat ___________________



Sometimes I think of them doing spells and I have a spell by myself.



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 Post subject: Hi Everyone
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 5:42 pm 
Thanks for all the hugs and nice words. This writer is immensely touched.



*LeatherQueen* - Yes, she is pregnant as for where she's going, well she is going to see Xander!



*foreverpiper* - I hope you've recovered from the news :) As for Xander's reaction, hmm it should be in the next chapter.



*BigMac* - Yup, Xander is going to find out soon.



*ExtraFlameyWT* - Thank you for the hug and liking the chapter :) .



*Grimaldi* - Well, first she's going to visit Xander then well I can't say as yet. I am going to run it pass Owl first. Thanks for the hug. Just what I needed.



*Owl* Hi Sweetie, I am sending you the next chapter but its to your old e-mail address. I hope you can still get it. I will try and send it to you new one as well. Thanks for your good thoughts. I am also pretty bad at these things but right now all I can say is that my uncle had a happy life that was cut short and he was loved by his family and in turned loved them. That ought to count for something.



*Lonewolf22* - I am glad that everyone was so surprised by this. At least I can still surprise you people. I was afraid that it was getting too predictable. :)



*Pixie Gishmock* - You should be glad to know that Admin Assistant is busy withfudge and the new tartan skirt she asked me to buy for her :) I really think she wants to be a smitten cheerleader . As for sleep, its not too bad and admin assistant is actually really sweet and is bringing me coffee every couple of hours and fielding most of my less important calls. Thanks for the panties though. Those are always nice to get.



*Karzia* - I am sorry for your loss as well. I do hope you mom had a great life and you remember that!

As for a little Anya running around , yeah, I can actually imagine that :) . I thnik the birth would be hilarious to write but I don't think I'm doing that in this story.



*Drakkenfyre* - Hi Sweetie, thank you so much for Ed. I am probably going to get looks in the office but I have just come back from Scotland so I do have a good excuse :) . Hope you've recovered from the Anya is pregnant news as well or do I have to send Ed back?



*Wolflord* - Well, work and writing this should keep me busy and I really want to keep busy right now so I'm going to continue with the updates. Thank you so much for you kind words and thoughts.

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


You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; It will not let you fall

And Death shall have no Dominion



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 Post subject: Ed
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 8:09 pm 
Honey, you can keep Ed as long as you need her...She will be a comfort to you..Give her some soup and sticky toffee..she loves that..I have told her to give you everything you need. *wink* Whenever you can live without Ed just send her back. Give Ed a kiss for me, please.

"We few, we happy few."
"We band of buggered."



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 Post subject: gah!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 9:08 pm 
Well, Blodwyna (a.k.a. Ed#3) is stomping mad now.

I mean literally, stomping around the cottage, throwing some sort of tantrum, yelling, screaming, bagpipe-flailing mad!

It's been nothing but "I wanna be the one to comfort Jomarch!" and assorted juicy curses all day. Looks like it was you she fancies. (who wouldn't, great writer?) So.. I'm sending her over. In fact, I'm sending both of the remaining Ed's over. They work better when they're all three together. I just hope Mr.March isn't the jealous type.... heh.



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 Post subject: Re: FIC - Left Of Center
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 11:57 pm 
*Drakkenfyre* - Ed has arrived and I have given her a kiss for you. Thank you so much for the loan.



*Owl* - Oh, Blodwyna is so totally welcome. Mr March is actually extremely understanding and is developing a crush on Ed, or is it Ed???? Anyway, thank you so much for sending them over. And at the rate I am going, I may just send you Ch 7a soon.

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


You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; It will not let you fall

And Death shall have no Dominion



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 Post subject: Re: FIC - Left Of Center
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 6:10 am 
Great update. I liked Take Charge Anya, giving tasks to our girls.

Adding up the total of a love that's true, multiply life by the power of two
Indigo Girls



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 Post subject: Re: FIC - Left Of Center
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 12:34 pm 
I just caught up with this and am enjoying it immensely, as always.



However, I'm sorry to hear about your bad news...I'm kind of behind with everything. Best wishes to you and yours.


----------
No metaphors...just fucking.



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 Post subject: Re: FIC - Left Of Center
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2002 7:58 pm 
Just bumping this up a bit to spread the love around. I loved the update, Jomarch, but really wanted to say that I hope you're dealing with all difficulties with grace and strength. I'm thinking about you, dear one, and hope you'll return to us soon.

BM

*********

TARA: Willow and I always know how to find each other!

ANYA: With yoga?

Edited by: Bobos Mom at: 5/1/02 8:08:26 pm


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 Post subject: news from the beta
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2002 9:56 am 
Oh, hello everyone.

I am sorry to report that I have had a power outage here, which has been a bit of a hitch in my betaing process, in addition to some other nemesiseses to the betadom. I will try to get it done asap, hopefully today, and then send it off to jomarch for posting. eek! :grin





pssst... Bobo's Mom... I read your post on the daily thread yesterday. You're a "flexible" lesbian, eh? I should say so, what with all that yoga you've got going on. Made me laugh real hard.



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 Post subject: I'm back and so is my beta
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2002 8:08 pm 
*Mollyig* - yes, I do like writing Anya when she comes up with ideas for the scoobie gang. Now all she has to do is take charge with Xander :)



*tommo* - I am so glad you're enjoying this and I appreciate all you comments. Thanks for your good wishes as well. And thank you for the new story, it totally rocks.



*Bobos Momo* - Hi Sweetie, well I don't know about grace and strength but it's going ok and writing and work keeps me busy which I need so hopefully I can finish this story soon.



*Owl* - Sorry about the power outage and I've missed you!



Well hopefully update soon :D

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


You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; It will not let you fall

And Death shall have no Dominion



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 Post subject: Re: FIC - Left Of Center
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2002 10:36 pm 
Jomarch- you know, I was just watching little women, and realized thats where your name is from LMAO. I'd read the book too a half dozen times, but it finally cliqued. How sad is that ?*thud*

'It's good to be a chicken casserole'-Sass, answering darkness

'My heart is cleverer then I and it knows what to do.'-MC Legends of the Kiss



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 Post subject: Chapter 6b
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2002 11:07 pm 
It's not that sad! I've been asked a few times where its from so you've helped me in pointing it out :D



Anyway, there are about 3 reasons for the name. Little Women was one of the first books I read through by myself when I was about 6 or 7 and my middle name is Joanne (thanks to my sister) and I was born in March.



So then it just seemed to fit when I had to pick a nick.



Ok, Owl was nice enough to finish beta'ing this tonight so here's Ch 6b



Spoiler Warning - It has some spoilers up to Normal Again and you may want to read my previous story as it is set in the same universe. If you don't want to, it's ok too. Just realize that Willow is in a wheelchair and this would be set around two and a half years from start of current US season.

Feedback - Good God! Yes, please.

Disclaimer - All characters, names etc belong to ME. I am just borrowing them for this short while in order to make them do what I want for a change instead of waiting to see what happens every Tuesday.

Rating - PG

Title : Left Of Center





Chapter 6b



Xander had been promoted at work again and was now site supervisor.

When he had gotten the news, his immediate thought was to call Anya and

tell her. That was before their planned wedding and he had wanted to tell

Anya that with his new raise, they could really have a much bigger

affair than the one she had planned. However, Anya had refused to spend

any more of his money, and in the end, they had gotten married in the middle

of the night at the minister's house. It was the most romantic night of

his life, and Anya had never looked more beautiful. He could think about

her forever. He often did, and that led to a lot of ribbing from his

co-workers about his total adoration of his wife. But they could also

see her beauty, and often gave her appreciative wolf-whistles each time

she visited him on site, like they were doing now. Xander

stepped out of his trailer and walked swiftly to where Anya was being

surrounded by most of the burly construction workers.



"Honey, what's wrong? It's too late for lunch... Did something happen?

Is it Dawn?" he babbled while trying to steer her away from Tito's

roving eyes.



Anya was well aware that Xander's co-workers were just teasing, but she

loved the fact that Xander was looking out for her and that he was most

definitely jealous. He would positively jump out of his trailer

everytime he heard any whistles on the site. Tito had told her once

that the guys use to do it just for fun even when she wasn't there, just

to see how fast he was. They had only stopped when Anya had extracted a

promise from them, and that was also only after she had told them about

her vengeance demon days and what she could do to bad men.



She wished that she could summon that courage again.

She wanted to tell Xander about the baby, but she was still afraid. She was positive that he loved her

and that he would always be there for her. However, his fears about

turning out like his parents had never really gone away. She knew that

he still had nightmares sometimes about the visions that he was shown at

their aborted wedding. They were different from the other nightmares he

had - those of seeing Willow shot or Buffy dead. She would hold him and

talk to him until he fell asleep or until it was morning. Perhaps it

wasn't the right time to tell him about the baby. Perhaps she should wait,

or carry out her plan alone.



"Oh no, it's nothing like that. Everyone is fine. Well, Dawn isn't really fine as she's

in the hospital and all. "So I thought we could visit Dawn together and

maybe bring her a present?" Anya replied with false cheeriness.



Xander knew that something was up. Anya was fidgeting too much, and she

was obviously nervous. So he slowly led her into his trailer and sat her down.

He brought her a glass of water and then sat in front of her and waited.

He was a patient man, and due to that, he had gotten the woman he loved back.

He wasn't going to pressure her into revealing anything. He could

wait. So he began to tell her about his day - about the cement delivery

that got inflated from 14 bags to 40. And he listened as she told him how

to make a profit by selling the bags to the other nearby construction

site. He also told her about how he spotted a design flaw in the plans

that the architects had given him. He could see that Anya was beginning

to relax, and that she was interested in his day, so he continued his

story about how he came up with a new design for the archway of the

building.



Anya was glad that Xander didn't push her into telling him the real

reason for her visit. She loved the way his voice soothed her, and she

felt better. Much more calm, and less fidgety. Perhaps Tara and Willow

were right. This was good news and Xander had a right to know. She

trusted Willow, and especially Tara. This would not end badly.



"So, Richard was saying that maybe I should take a couple of Design Cour...."



"I'm pregnant," she said, looking directly at him, andsaw

his surprise. She also noted his silence. She felt her heart clench, and

she looked away.



Xander hoped that he had heard right. He saw Anya turn away and immediately

knew he should have said something but this was such a surprise for him. Such a great surprise. Anya was pregnant, and he was going to be a

father. He lunged forward, lifted her up, and twirled her around his

small office.



Her eyes were closed, and when he grabbed her, all she could hear was his

laughter, rich and happy. He wasn't angry or shocked. He was happy, but

the twirling was making her feel like throwing up.



"Xander? I'm feeling sick could you put me down?" He slowly lowered her

to the ground.



"Wow! Great googly God! I'm gonna be a daddy?" he was holding her

shoulders, and smiled when he saw her nod. Only then he realized that

she was looking kinda green, and he immediately sat her back down and

gave her the glass of water again. He felt like shouting at the top of

his lungs, and he knew that he was smiling like an idiot, but he didn't

care. Anya was pregnant, and they were going to have a baby. But in the

back of his mind, he could feel his unease. Not because of the baby, but

due to their current predicament. They were still living on the

Hellmouth, and Donny and Rack were out there. His smile didn't waver,

but Anya could see that his mind was preoccupied and she could guess his

thoughts. She was thinking the same thing.



"Xander, I'm scared. Not about the pregnancy, but about Rack and Donny."

Anya saw that Xander's face darkened as soon as she mentioned

those names.



"I know, baby. But I won't let them hurt you." He placed his hand on her

tummy. "Either of you. I'll always be there. They won't have a chance to

come near you."



"I know you will, and I love you for it. But I think we need more. I have

a plan, but I need your help." She hoped he would not ask too many

questions, and when she told him what she wanted, she could see his

demeanor change. He didn't like what she was saying, but he trusted her,

so he held his tongue. It was only when she'd finished that he finally said

something.



"We should visit Dawn and then we can. Anya, I trust you and I

hope you're right. We'll be taking a big chance, but we're all family, and

that should count for something. So, okay. We'll do it."



She didn't know that she was holding her breath until he took her arm to help

her out. Maybe things were going to change. Maybe it was time for them

to catch a break. Anya hoped so. She needed all of them there when this

baby was born. Xander would protect her. Willow and Tara would

teach her love, Buffy would teach her to protect herself, Dawn would be like

her big sister, and Giles could leave her the Magic Box. They were all

so essential.



The day passed rather quickly for the two researching witches. Giles

had called in the afternoon with good news. Due to what Willow had

said - the information she'd provided, Dawn was getting better. Her

new treatment had resulted in an upturn in her condition, and she was awake. She had managed to convince Buffy to go home and shower and change and come back to relieve Giles so that he too could do the same.



The research front didn't yield much information, but that didn't stop

Willow from continuing to copy relevant passages onto a chart she had

tacked up on the wall and highlighting them with different colors.



From what she could decipher, Rack was similar to a parasite. He would

suck out the magic force from individuals, while at the same time

replacing it with his own magic high. But his magic was dark and foul

and would eventually be rejected by the user. The interesting part was

that he was an addict of sorts as well, as he would derive the same high

from the magic he took. That was how he survived. That was why he

survived. He would use people up, take their magic powers, and move on.

Willow shuddered at the thought that it could have happened to her. He

could have used her up.



*No it wouldn't have, honey. You were always stronger than that, and I

wouldn't have allowed him to take you.*




* I know, and I would never go back now. I have you. You're all I need. I

would never go back there,*
Willow sent back with a smile.



Despite Tara's assertion, Willow always wondered if she would have been

strong enough to stay away without Tara by her side. Suddenly, another

chilling thought struck her as she realized that despite not being the

key anymore, Dawn was still powerful in her own way. Both she and Tara

had thought her how to focus and harness some of her power. Power that

Rack now had. It wasn't enough to open the hellmouth. Not yet. But it

could be used to hurt them.



Willow looked over at Tara as she pored

over yet another ancient text. She could feel the love but there was also

fear in her heart. Fear that she couldn't protect Tara. That her love

and strength was not going to be enough to fight both Rack and Donny.

She had to think of something. She would do anything to ensure her

lover's safety.



Tara had spent most of the day listing all the spells that she

remembered her mother teaching them. She was still surprised that Donny

would use magic. He had always said it was the devil's tool, ever since

he realized that Tara was better at it. But she did remember him

always hanging about when her mother was going over some of the more

powerful spells. Perhaps he had been paying attention. The thought

frightened her. She knew Donny was never that powerful because he didn't have the patience and the emotion to center himself. But what if he

did now? What if hate was enough to fuel his magic? Hate for her... Hate

for Willow...



Willow, sensing Tara's uneasiness again, decided to call it a day. "Baby,

I'm kinda beat. Perhaps we could stop and drop by the hospital?"



Tara nodded. She knew that Willow had felt her uneasiness and was

trying to help, but she wanted to continue with the research. She needed

to find Donny's weakness. She didn't want to imagine what would happen

if Donny or Rack attacked again. She needed to be more prepared, but

Willow looked tired, and she wanted to check up on Dawn again. She'd

felt so guilty when the teenager's voice came on the phone. She had

still sounded so frail. It hurt her heart to think that due to her

carelessness, Dawn had nearly been killed.



As it was nearly dusk, Willow had called for a cab to take them to the

hospital. They would go there and visit Dawn and then make their way home

with Buffy. There was nothing else they could do. So she collected

their coats from the counter while Tara switched off all the lights and

activated Anya's state of the art alarm system.



Xander and Anya still hadn't returned, but Anya had called saying that

they would be back that night. Willow hoped that Anya had managed

to sort out her feelings about the baby and that Xander wouldn't freak

out. He was so grown up now and she had faith in him. She just hoped

he had faith in himself.



To the relief of both witches, Dawn was indeed doing better. The young

woman was propped up in bed, and immediately demanded hugs from them. She told them that Anya and Xander had stopped by earlier and

had brought her donuts and a jigsaw puzzle, and then left again. The

best news was that the doctors had told Giles and Buffy that she could

go home soon. Tomorrow, even. They just wanted to monitor her heart to

make sure it didn't slow down any more. It was good news indeed.



Giles and Buffy had come back a few minutes later, and it was agreed that

Giles would stay at the hospital, and Buffy would accompany Tara and

Willow home. She could then do a quick patrol before relieving Giles.



Tara looked at them. They were all coping, but the situation had taken it's toll.

Giles's suit was crumpled, and Buffy had bags under her eyes. She walked over

to hug the Slayer, to try and convey her love and strength to her. Tara

knew that she and Willow didn't look too good either. They all

needed to rest. She hoped that they would get some sleep tonight. It had

been a long two days.



Getting ready for bed that night, Tara fingered her pendant. 'Mom,' she

thought, 'if you can hear me, please keep us safe. Keep Willow safe...

Away from Donny. Away from Rack.'



She sent up that prayer, hoping that it

would be answered. Both of them were exhausted, and drifted off to

sleep almost immediately, with their hands intertwined.



Something startled Tara - her eyes flew open only to be greeted by

darkness and no Willow. She sat up and looked around. Willow wasn't in

bed with her, but her chair was still in the corner. How? Why? She

needed answers. She didn't want to panic, but Willow was

gone. She quickly got out of bed and pulled on a pair of jeans. A

mantra ran through her head. 'she's alright, she's fine, I'll find

her. She's alright, she's fine, I'll find her, I'll always find her...'



She reached for one of the stakes on the dresser next to the window, only

to be surprised at the sight of Willow. She was standing across the

street, talking to someone. Relief flooded Tara's already

tired body. She let out the breath that she was holding. Willow was

whole, Willow was alright. Willow was... standing?



Tara strained to see - maybe it was Buffy. Willow must be talking to

Buffy. Buffy was the one that had carried Willow outside and was

supporting her. That had to be the case. Maybe they had

wanted to discuss some important matters. 'It has to be Buffy, it just

has to,' Tara repeated to herself, only to have her hopes dashed as Rack

stepped out of the shadows.



She watched in morbid fascination as Rack stepped closer to Willow. She

expected Willow to lash out - to turn and run, but the redhead stood her

ground. Instead of turning away, she leaned into his extended palm.

Tara watched as energy crackled around the pair. She watched as Willow

threw her head back. She couldn't see from her position, but she knew that

Willow's pupils had turned black. She turned away from the window.



Her stomach revolted against the sight. Bile rose in her throat, and when

she could no longer hold the bitterness in, she rushed to the bathroom,

barely making it in time. She fell to her knees and retched until her

stomach was empty. Her eyes were still closed. She didn't want to remember

the sight - the vision of Rack and Willow. Why? Why had Willow done

that? She would never give in. She'd never go back to Rack - Willow had promised her. It was an

impossibility, she told herself. Willow had said that she wouldn't go

back of her own free will. She could feel the rolling in the pit of her

stomach and gagged once again, but there was nothing left in her stomach. There was nothing left inside of her.



'Willow wouldn't have gone back to Rack on her own accord, but...could

she have?' Tara thought to herself, leaning her head against the cool

porcelain bowl. Would Willow have actually made a deal with Rack? Would

Willow have done that to protect them? To protect herself? When Glory had

taken her mind, Willow had gone after her. She had faced a God for

Tara, would she now face Rack as well? All these thoughts and

nightmares fought for a place in Tara's overworked mind. But the

foremost was the fact that Willow had gone back to Rack. She had chosen

the magic option without a moment's thought for Tara.



Tara slowly rose to her feet. She felt unsteady, unsure. She felt

alone. She hadn't felt alone in such a long time. She remembered the

feeling, when her mother had died. The feeling of abandonment and

isolation. She wrapped her hands around her middle and slowly made her

way to the bedroom. She didn't even notice the fact that she was

losing consciousness until her head hit the carpet. She welcomed the

darkness. Her last thought was of pain and betrayal and Willow. It was always

Willow.



*Tara! Tara, baby, can you hear me? Please baby, wake up! I need you

to wake up! Please! *




Tara could hear Willow's anxious voice. She struggled to open her eyes. She had to stop herself from answering Willow. She had to protect

herself. She blinked slowly, and Willow and Buffy's faces came into

focus. Willow looked relieved. She was on the carpet next to Tara and

held the witch's hand in her own. Her fingers were slowly tracing

Tara's palm.



Willow immediately knew something was wrong as soon as Tara regained

conciousness. There was no light in Tara'a eyes, just anguish and hurt.

It hit Willow physically. She had to grab for Buffy to steady herself.



Buffy was also feeling unsettled. She had panicked when she heard Willow

anxiously calling out to Tara. She had come up from the living room to

find Tara sprawled on the floor and Willow next to the pale blonde. She

wasn't sure what had happened, but she'd bet it wasn't good news.



"Here..." She gently pushed Willow to one side, and carried Tara back to the

bedroom. After placing her in bed, she rushed back out and carried

Willow in as well.



"Someone want to tell me what's going on?" she asked pointedly. "Did I

miss the memo on the camping out in the hallway?"



"I-I-I think I just fainted" Tara answered weakly. She wanted to look at

Willow to ask her to explain, but she couldn't. She couldn't stand to hear the

excuses again... The false promises... The declarations of love... The

feeling of being adrift and alone was beginning to overwhelm her.



"Tara, what's wrong?" Willow was beginning to get really worried. She had

awakened to the sound of Tara retching in the bathroom. She had hoped

that the blonde wasn't coming down with something, and was determined to

treat her with tender loving care. She decided she would remain awake

until Tara returned and wrap her arms around her until they fell asleep

again, keeping her safe and loved. She had waited for half an hour and then

began to get frantic. In the end, she tumbled out of bed and pulled

herself into the hallway, forgoing her chair. She just wanted to see

Tara. But seeing her love sprawled on the floor was a vision she

would have rather done without. The fact that she wouldn't wake up

caused Willow great distress. She pulled herself to the blonde and began

calling out her name, all the while sending prayers up to the goddess

for Tara's well-being.



"What happened?" she pressed.



"I saw you," Tara replied. "I saw you with him, outside... I know." She had

said those last words with a voice of such profound hurt that Willow was

speechless.



It was Buffy who answered. "Saw who, Tara? Did you see Willow with someone?"



Tara could only nod. Her head ached, and her heart ached. She wanted to

curl up in Willow's arms, but knew that that couldn't happen.



"But... but... when? Who?" Willow sputtered. "I haven't been outside,

who did you see me with?"



"Rack," Tara whispered, not wanting to give voice to that name, but

needing to confront Willow, needing to do this now. She did not want to

keep it in anymore. It hurt so much ? She felt as if her heart was in a

vise.



"But, how? I was in bed with you the whole night... " Willow answered back,

her face a sea of confusion. She could feel Tara in pain, and she had

tried to hug her only to have Tara shy away. She needed answers.

Something or someone had hurt her girl, and that was simply unacceptable.

But Tara wasn't looking at her. Buffy noticed that, too.



"Yeah, Tara... I would have heard if Willow went out. I was crashing on

the couch tonight. No one went out. Least of all Willow. I mean, she

still can't walk," Buffy stated, still unsure of the situation, but

beginning to sense something... Something malevolent.



"But, I-I..." Tara couldn't continue. Her head was pounding. She felt

nausea take over once again, but there was nothing left to throw up.

"What's happening to me? Am I seeing things? Why am I seeing these

nightmares?" she asked plaintively. Instinctively, she reached out and

Willow was there to enfold her in her arms.



But Willow was still at a loss. Clearly, Tara had truly believed that

she had seen Willow with Rack. It had shaken her lover to the core.

Someone had made the blonde relive one of her nightmares. She guessed it

must be Donny, but how? They were going to figure this out. They had to, but

first they needed some sleep.



"Buffy, I think Tara needs to rest now"



"Yes, of course. I'll be downstairs if you need me." With that, the

Slayer turned and left. She hoped that Willow knew what was going on because

she sure didn't. But Willow had that look on her face. The one that

said an idea was forming. She trusted it as much as her Slayer

instincts, so she left her two friends to resume her vigil downstairs.



Once Buffy left, Willow started to arrange the pillows under Tara's

head. She looked so pale, and Willow could still sense pain emanating

from her. So, she kissed her cheek and whispered comfort words - 'love

you... protect you... safe here... always... Each utterance was preceded by a kiss or

a touch. She knew that somehow, Donny had gotten to Tara. Looking over at her

love, she noticed that Tara had one hand clutching her mother's necklace

and the other curled around Willow's arm. Willow guessed that Donny may

have somehow used the talisman to send those nightmare visions to Tara.



Willow knew how much the talisman meant to Tara and couldn't bring

herself to take it away from her. She just needed to think, to come up

with a way to stop Donny from sending the visions again. Maybe they

could do a spell. She needed Anya's help, and wanted to call her right

away but Tara's arm tightened around Willow's and the redhead knew that

she was needed there. So she settled back in bed. She had to protect

Tara. That was her job, and one which she took seriously.



Soon, Willow felt Tara relax in her arms. Her breathing evened out. only then

did Willow let her own guard down and let sleep

claim her as well.











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


You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; It will not let you fall

And Death shall have no Dominion

Edited by: jomarch at: 5/5/02 5:55:36 am


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 6b
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 6:28 am 
Wow... great update, jomarch! The feelings that were flowing through this part were palpable.



I'm glad that Xander is happy about having a baby with Anya... and I'm glad that Tara understands that it wasn't really Willow out with Rack.



Can't wait for the next one!



-Aimee :D

*****
"Pope John Paul today confirmed his opposition to gay marriages, said they're unnatural. Gay marriage is unnatural. Then he put on a pointy hat, his dress, and returned to never having sex at all." -Bill Maher



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 6b
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 8:22 am 
cool update, can't wait for the next one.

Awww, Grasshopper, you're so screwed.

If there are any questions, you may direct them to that brick wall over there.

Is he evil? He smells evil



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 6b
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 9:20 am 
Most Fabo update:D Someone needs to do somthing about Rack and Donny soon, I'm thinking cattle prod set on full followed by those little red ants that sting when they touch you:evil let 'em cast when their balls are iching and burning: -->>:



"The Bible contains
six admonishments of Homosexuals and 362 of Heterosexuals, That doesn't mean God doesn't love Hetrosexuals, just that they need more supervsion."


Lynn Laver



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 6b
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 12:46 pm 
Mmmm, great job, Jomarch!!!! And making Tara see Willow talking to Rack - Gah!!! and Ack!!!! It's interesting to see how Xander has matured. I like his construction workers teasing him. I hope you're taking care of yourself. *hugs and panties*

Life is full of changes...The better you are at letting go of things, the freer your hands will be to catch something new. ~from Off The Map by Joan Ackerman
"It's good to be a chicken casserole," Tara murmured before passing out. ~from "Answering Darkness" by Sassette



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 Post subject: Bravo!
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 9:24 pm 
So, I just finished reading your wonderful update and ummmm... wow. Poor Willow. Poor Tara. Grrrr to Donny and Rack. (Yes, I am sounding particularly intelligent tonight, I know.) I felt so horrible for Tara, experiencing the vision, but in a way, just as bad for Willow. I mean, Tara believed the vision (though I suppose it's hard to deny your senses), but she also rejected the idea that Willow was in some way controlled and the thoughts about betrayal.... ouch. The update was heart-wrenching, but the Xander/Anya interaction was lovely, if mysterious. What's Anya up to?



Including Tito was priceless, incidentally. :) It put a smile on my face. Speaking of smiles, why the frilly heck doesn't my thesaurus have any synonyms for smile? I mean, under the word smile. It's always under another heading like "show joy." Silly thesaurus. Doesn't it know kicks are for trids? (Once again, I imagine I am making very little sense)



You did a splendid job on the update -as always- and I look forward to the next one!



Jae



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 Post subject: Thanks you guys
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 10:46 pm 
*ExtraFlameyWT* - Thanks for the wow, those are nice to get. I definitely did not want to end this as a cliffhanger with Tara thinking that Willow had really gone to Rack.



*Grimaldi* - Well, the next update should be soon as it's actually done. I have been writing slightly faster lately so Ch 7a is in beta and 7b should be sent shortly. 7a ends kind of abruptly though.



*Karzia* - Oh, that is a cool punishment. And I really want to get rid of them but its not going to be in the next 2 chapters. I think you're probably going to hate them a lot more after reading the next chapters.



*Pixie gismock* - I really don't like the Xander in the show currently so its fun to write him more mature and less whiny (or is that Dawn?) :D . Thanks for the panties and hugs. Those are always worth writing an update for.



*Jae* - Hi Sweetie and I do still owe you a much longer e-mail. Suffice it to say I do love it and you should be getting my long response soon :) .

As for the story, I feel bad for Willow too but Tara's judgement was really clouded by the talisman and Donny's spell on it so that's why she was so conflicted. And you're really going to hate Donny and Rack more after the next 2 chapters. What is Anya up to.... Well, she is thinking about her baby and her family so she's going to try and protect them. There also has not been a mention of Tito lately and I miss him so it was fun to include him in - much better than Richard.

Ok, synonyms for smile, I can only come up wit grin so I guess I should actually buy a thesaurus!



Thanks so much for reading :)



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


You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; It will not let you fall

And Death shall have no Dominion



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 Post subject: Re: Comment
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 10:55 pm 
Heya :)



I am very much looking forward to said lengthy email! And you loved it? *dances* Woo! I even have a new section to send, or rather, will, if I stop reading certain author's marvellous fics and focus. Hehe.



I understand how Tara's judgement was clouded, but onethless, poor Willow. I also have faith you will make me positively loathe Donny and Rack, oposed to the mere hatred that I now experience. Nasty people. Though really, is a vampire a person? (and I suddenly am having visions of philosophy essays about whether a dolphin is a person. Hmm... that was a slight tangent.) And you are absolutely correct. Tito is infinitely swankier than Richard.



As for smile, you may have noticed my slight overuse of the word (what, it was only used... 10-20 times, that's not bad. really!). The only other one I came up with (synonym wise) was beamed. Though I have yet to use it. Time to put back on my writing cap and... well, write!



Be well,

Jae





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 Post subject: Re: Thanks you guys
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 11:19 pm 
Jomarch: Just wanted to continue with the praise, great update, I really hate that Donny is doing all these things to Tara, I really hope that the Scoobies stop him. I can't wait to read more.



Lonewolf



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 Post subject: HI again
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 5:53 am 
*Jae* - don't worry, it was only slightly overused. I did a few changes though :) . As for this story, don't worry, it will all end well, I know the writer!



*Lonewolf22* - Yes, the scoobies are going to stop him, that I can guarantee. Hope you like the next update as well

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


You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; It will not let you fall

And Death shall have no Dominion



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